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THE ESSENTIAL BUTTERFLY GUIDE
"There is more to life than the Monarch"

There are hundreds of different types of butterflies around the world.  In the United States,  you will find everything from beautiful colored moths and small garden varieties,  to the classic Swallowtails, Viceroys, and Monarchs.  This guide highlights the most popular butterflies and  details which types of plants will serve to attract them to your garden.

This guide is divided into six regions defining the common
 range of each included species of butterfly

Desert Southwest
Pacific Coast
Midwest
High Plains
New England

THE ESSENTIAL BUTTERFLY GUIDE

Black Swallowtail  Papilio Polyxenes
The Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Favorite Flowers: Butterfly weed, phlox, clover, and thistle
Caterpillar Plants: Carrots, parsley, dill, and celery
Common Range: Southeast, Desert Southwest, Midwest, New England

Tiger Swallowtail  Papilio Glaucus


The Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Favorite Flowers: Butterfly bush, lilac, honeysuckle, and butterfly weed
Caterpillar Plants: wild cherry, willow, cottonwood, and tulip-poplars
Common Range: Nationwide, except Pacific Coast

Clouded Sulphur  Colias philodice
Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)

Favorite Flowers: Aster, goldenrod, phlox, and clover
Caterpillar Plants: Clover and alfalfa
Common Range: Nationwide, except Florida, Texas, and California
Checkered White Pontia protodice


Checkered White (Pontia protodice)

Favorite Flowers: Aster, butterfly weed, and centaury
Caterpillar Plants: Mustard, turnips, cabbages, and beeplant
Common Range: Nationwide, except for western Washington State

Spring Azure, Celastrina ladon
Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)

Favorite Flowers: Aster, butterfly weed, and centaury
Caterpillar Plants: Dogwood, viburnum, New-Jersey-tea, and blueberry
Common Range: Nationwide, except for south and central Texas
Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

Favorite Flowers: Lantana, impatiens, shepherd's needle, and thistle
Caterpillar Plants: Passion vines
Common Range: Desert Southwest, Southeast, Wisconsin, California
Pearl Crescent, Phyciodes tharos


Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Favorite Flowers: Thistle, aster, and gloriosa daisy
Caterpillar Plants: Aster
Common Range: Nationwide, except Pacific Coast

Buckeye, Junonia coenia
Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Favorite Flowers: Aster, coreopsis, knapwee, and chicory
Caterpillar Plants: Plantain, snapdragon and toadflax
Common Range: Nationwide, except High Plains

More Butterfly Varieties and their Favored Plants


Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Favorite Flowers: Milkweed, lantana, lilac, cosmos, goldenrod and zinnia
Caterpillar Plants: Milkweed
Common Range: Nationwide


American Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Favorite Flowers:
Butterfly weed, goldenrod, yarrow, and buttercup
Caterpillar Plants: Sheep sorrel and curled dock
Common Range: Midwest, New England


The Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)

Favorite Flowers: Lantana, zinnia, butterfly bush, lily-of-the-nile
Caterpillar Plants: Carrot, fennel, anise, parsley
Common Range: High Plains, Pacific Coast


The Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Favorite Flowers: Honeysuckle, lantana, azalea,    butterfly weed
Caterpillar Plants: Spicebush and sassafras
Common Range: Southeast, Desert Southwest,      Midwest, New England

European Cabbage Butterfly (Pieris rapae)

Favorite Flowers: Lantana, impatiens, marigold,
   mint,  and dandelion
Caterpillar Plants: Cabbage, cauliflower,
   broccoli,  radish, and nasturtium
Common Range: Nationwide

The Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Favorite Flowers: Honeysuckle, azalea,
   goldenrod,  orange trees
Caterpillar Plants: Citrus trees, including
   oranges
Common Range: Southeast, Desert Southwest,
     Midwest

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Favorite Flowers: Lantana, bougainvillea,
   hibiscus, and morning glory
Caterpillar Plants: Senna (cassia)
Common Range: Desert Southwest, Southeast,
     Midwest


Sleepy Orange (Eurema nicippe)

Favorite Flowers: Shepherd's needle
Caterpillar Plants: Senna (cassia)
Common Range: Desert Southwest, Southeast,
   Midwest


Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

Favorite Flowers: Butterfly weed, clover,  shepherd's needle, and milkweed
Caterpillar Plants: Violets, passion vine, and  stonecrop
Common Range: Desert Southwest, Southeast,  High Plains, Midwest, New England 

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Favorite Flowers: Goldenrod, milkweed, clover,
  and  winter cress
Caterpillar Plants: Hibiscus, clover, mallow, and
  vetch
Common Range: Nationwide

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Favorite Flowers: Aster, cosmos, thistle, and
   buttonbush
Caterpillar Plants: Thistle, mallow, and hollyhock
Common Range: Nationwide


Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Favorite Flowers: Gloriosa daisy, thistle,
   verbena, and butterfly weed
Caterpillar Plants: Violets
Common Range: High Plains, Midwest, New
   England,  Washington and Oregon

Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

Favorite Flowers:
Aster, fleabane, knapweed,
  and shepherd's needle
Caterpillar Plants: Mallow and hollyhock
Common Range: Nationwide

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Favorite Flowers: Zinnia, honeysuckle, butterfly
  weed, joe-pyeweed
Caterpillar Plants: Locust
Common Range: Nationwide, except for
   southern Texas, Arizona, and Nevada

Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

Favorite Flowers: Marigold, aster, butterfly weed,
  and buttonbush
Caterpillar Plants: Bermuda grass and crabgrass
Common Range: Southeast, Desert Southwest,
   Midwest, California

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Favorite Flowers: Statice, aster, lantana,
   marigold, and ironweed
Caterpillar Plants: Bermuda grass and crabgrass
Common Range: Southeast, Desert Southwest,
    Midwest, California

Other Butterfly Varieties

This simple listing of many of the other species illustrates the dozens of varieties that can be found 
within the United States. Beyond these, there are also thousands of varieties that one can find around
 the world, many of which are endemic to certain countries, regions, or even found only in a certain forest!

Butterfly Species Pacific Coast Desert SW South
East
High Plains New England Mid West
Pipevine Swallowtail X X X   X X
Zebra Swallowtail     X   X X
Tiger Swallowtail X X        
Veined White X X   X   X
Sara Orange Tip X     X X X
Falcate Orange Tip         X X
Orange Sulphur X X X X X X
Southern Dogface X X X      
Little Yellow     X   X X
Harvester     X   X X
Purplish Copper  X   X   X  
Coral Hairstreak X     X X X
Banded Hairstreak   X X X X  
Olive Hairstreak     X X X X
Brown Elfin X     X X X
Gray Hairstreak X X X X X X
Eastern Tailed Blue X   X   X  
Silvery Blue X X X      
Mormon Metalmark X X        
American Snout     X X X X
Atlantis Fritillary X X       X
Question Mark       X X X
Comma     X X X X
Mourning Cloak X X   X X X

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