|PO Box 9021,
Wilmington, DE 19809, USA
Phone: Toll-free in USA 1-888-721-3555
List and Photo Gallery
including those during
Focus On Nature Tours
in North Carolina in May-June
and elsewhere in the East
With LINKS to LISTS of: MOTHS and DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES
This List of eastern North American Butterflies compiled by Armas Hill
(with some input by the staff from the Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center
in Four Oaks, North Carolina)
Photo at upper right: a MOURNING CLOAK (left) & EASTERN COMMA (right)
Photo below: a RED-SPOTTED PURPLE
(upper photograph by Doris Potter; lower photo by Marie Gardner)
Numbers noted as (PE:xx) refer to plates in the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies, by Paul Opler & Vichai Malikul (1998 edition)
Numbers noted as (K:xx) refer to pages in the Kaufman Focus Guide to Butterflies of North America, by Jim Brock & Kenn Kaufman
Numbers noted as (W:xx) refer to pages in "Caterpillars of Eastern North America"", by David Wagner, 2005.
DE: occurs in Delaware
FL: occurs in Florida
MA: occurs in Massachusetts
MD: occurs in Maryland
ME: occurs in Maine
NC: occurs in North Carolina
NH: occurs in New Hampshire
NJ: occurs in New Jersey
PA: occurs in Pennsylvania
VA: occurs in Virginia
(i/E): species introduced from Europe
Species classified as GLOBALLY THREATENED:
(t1): critically endangered
(nt): a near-threatened species globally
(ph): species with a photo in the FONT website
A truly superb book about the butterflies of eastern North America is "Butterflies of the East Coast, an Observer's Guide" by Rick Cech & Guy Tudor, 2005. Books and photographs don't come much better.
In a way, of course, butterflies can be almost anywhere,
but places such as this,
Mildred's butterfly garden in Cape May Point, New Jersey,
can be very good for seeing them.
(photo by Rise Hill).
Links to Butterfly Groupings in this List:
Swallowtails Whites & Sulphurs Gossamer-wings
Satyrs & Wood-nymphs
Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in North America
(including. North Carolina, and Delaware, Maryland, & Virginia)
Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours Elsewhere FONT Past Tour Highlights
Birds during FONT Tours in North Carolina Hummingbirds of the Americas
A List & Photo Gallery of North American Birds, in 6 parts
Other Lists & Photo
Galleries in this Website:
Eastern North America Moths Eastern North America Dragonflies & Damselflies
Eastern North America Wildflowers & Other Plants (with host plants for butterflies & moths)
Eastern North America Mammals (Land & Sea) noting those during FONT Tours
Eastern North America Amphibians & Reptiles Eastern North America Marine Life
Other Lists of Butterflies, elsewhere in the world
Alphabetical Directory of Butterflies by Genus with Photos in the FONT Website
Directory of Photos in this Website
HERE'S A LINK TO CHAD KREMP'S WEBSITE RELATING TO PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES:
An Eastern Tailed-Blue
(photo by Marie Gardner)
SOME COMMENTARY REGARDING BUTTERFLY IDENTIFICATION:
"Get a guidebook, take a few years, and
you'll still make mistakes. Butterfly identification has an initial, deceptive
Individuals in a species vary naturally, an eyespot slightly larger, a color brighter.
Males and females of a species can be strikingly dissimilar.
So can genetic morphs or forms within a gender.
In a single species, butterflies that live in a range of habitats can vary in appearance and produce different populations or geographical races, each better adapted to its environment.
Species can also produce generations of distinct morphs in the same place at different times of the year.
One Tiger Swallowtail is black. On the same
flower, another Tiger Swallowtail is yellow.
Another species produces red butterflies in the wet season and blue in the dry. A species darkens in response to air pollution.
A species gains an eyespot. A species loses one."
The above commentary taken from the book, "An Obsession with Butterflies", by Sharman Apt Russell (a wonderful read).
REGARDING A STUDY RELEASED IN AUGUST 2012 RELATING CHANGES IN BUTTERFLY POPULATIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS:
The Harvard study, conducted over 2 decades, found that populations of warm-climate-adapted butterfly species grew by as much as a thousand fold, while those of cold-climate-adapted species that have long been native to Massachusetts declined substantially, by as much as 90 per cent.
Data was collected during the 2 decades by the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, an amateur naturalist group that tracks butterfly sightings and numbers.
17 of 21 northern butterfly species in Massachusetts were found to be declining, including the Atlantis Fritillary and the Acadian Hairstreak.
12 southern butterfly species, which were rare or unseen in Massachusetts in the 1980s & 1990s, were found to have increased tremendously, especially in warmer parts of the state. Such species include the Zabulon Skipper and the Giant Swallowtail.
For most of the species in the study, climate change seems to be a stronger cause than habitat change.
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