Types of Butterflies – There are six primary types of butterflies found in North America and then numerous subfamilies found under each primary type. Butterflies are one of the most adored insects for their enchanted beauty and representation of good luck and positive change. They can be found in every state, rural or residential areas, forests or fields.
These types of butterflies are very bright and extremely large. The easiest way to identify them is by the club-like extension that they have from their hind wing that is used to defend themselves against predator attacks.
- Pipevine Swallowtail
These beautiful swallowtails have an iridescent hind wing and an ebony forewing. They are rarely preyed upon due to the fact that they can be very distasteful.
- Giant Swallowtail
This is the largest species with a wingspan of up to six inches. They have black wings and rows of yellow spots.
- Spicebush Swallowtail
They are often called the green clouded butterfly due to the tint of green found on their hind wings. Like the Pipevine butterfly, the forewing is black and they are usually not preyed on due to their similar appearance.
2. Brush-Footed Butterflies
There are more than 150 species of these types of butterflies. They received their name due to their reduced forelegs that can be used for walking.
- Painted Lady
These are one of the easiest found butterflies. They have orange and brown blotches on their wings and they hibernate in the winter while others migrate.
This is the most commonly known butterfly with its striking orange and black wings. They are toxic to predators because they feed on Milkweed and they migrate in the winter all the way to Mexico.
- Great Spangled Fritillary
These beautiful butterflies have wings in shades of sienna, orange and burnt umber with black spots. They primarily feed on violets.
3. Gossamer Wings
There are around 100 species of these types of butterflies. They are quite small and the males’ forelegs are reduced while the females have six legs.
- Great Purple Hairstreak
These portray charcoal colored wings that shine violet, blue and green in the sunlight. They primarily feed on mistletoe.
- Spring Azure
Spotting this species is a sign that spring is on the way. They have powder blue wings that are decorated with silver patterns and red and black spots.
- American Copper
The wingspan of this species is only about one inch in rusty-orange shades with brown borders and black spots.
4. Sulphers And Whites
Some of these types of butterflies are found in flower gardens but most prefer grass and fields for egg laying. The adults of these species all have six legs.
- Cloudless Sulphur
These are one of the largest sulphers and boast brilliant yellow wings. They feed primarily on clover.
These butterflies are California’s state insect. The wings are yellow with black borders and patterns that resemble the profile of a dog.
- Cabbage White
These are considered a pest because the females are capable of laying almost 1000 eggs in their lifetime with their larvae, feeding off of cabbage.
5. True Skippers
These are not types of butterflies that are considered attractive at all. They are hairy, small, not colorful and often confused with moths.
- Silver Spotted Skipper
These are commonly found in wooded areas or gardens. They have dark brown wings with orange centers.
- Common Checkered Skipper
This butterfly is tiny with an average wingspan of under one inch. Their wings have a brown and white checkered pattern.
These butterflies are mesmerizing, offering a tropical appearance. They are slow fliers due to their thin, long, narrow wings.
- Zebra Longwing
Their long wings are black, covered with yellow stripes. Many of these butterflies will all sleep together and they are one of the few species that can eat pollen.
These types of butterflies are found mainly in Texas and Florida since they prefer the heat. They have mystical wings with patterns of pink and light green.