Butterflies of North America

first update d. 10 December 2015

last update d. 15 December 2015


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Western Tiger Swallowtail

Pterourus rutulus

Salt Lake City,  Utah, USA d. 19 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten SiemsSalt Lake City,  Utah, USA d. 19 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten Siems

Western Tiger Swallowtail, Pterourus rutulus. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA d. 19 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten Siems

Western Tiger Swallowtail, Pterourus rutulus (Lucas, 1852) the wings are yellow with black stripes, and it has blue and orange spots near its tail. It has the "tails" on the hind wings that are often found in swallowtails.

Wingspan: 70 - 100 mm. Females are larger than the small males.

Habitats: is a common swallowtail butterfly of western North America, frequently seen in urban parks and gardens, as well as in rural woodlands and riparian areas.

Host plants: Ash, Fraxinus spp. Cottonwood, Populus spp. Willow, Salix spp.

Flight time: Flying in first generation from February to May, and several generations to the late autumn.

Distribution: The normal range of the Western Tiger Swallowtail covers much of western North America, from British Columbia to North Dakota in the north to Baja California and New Mexico in the south. Individuals occasionally turn up east of this range; in eastern North America, though, it is replaced by the similar Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Pterourus glaucus

Savage River, Maryland, USA d. 30 april 2011. Photographer; Carsten Siems

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Pterourus glaucus. Savage River, Maryland, USA d. 30 april 2011. Photographer; Carsten Siems

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Pterourus glaucus (Linnaeus, 1758) the male is yellow with four black "tiger stripes" on each fore wing. Females may be either yellow or black, making them dimorphic. The yellow morph is similar to the male, but with a conspicuous band of blue spots along the hindwing, while the dark morph is almost completely black.

Wingspan: 79 - 140 mm. Females are larger than the small males.

Habitats: can be found almost anywhere deciduous forests occur. Common habitats include woodlands, fields, rivers, creeks, roadsides, and gardens. It will stray into urban parks and city yards. Because it has adapted to many different habitats and host plants, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is a generalist, and is not considered threatened.

Host plants: Wild black cherry, Prunus serotina. Ash, Fraxinus spp. Cottonwood, Populus spp. Wafer ash/hop tree, Ptelea trifoliata. Common Lilac, Syinga vulgaris. Sweet bay magnolia, Magnolia virginiana. Tulip poplar/tulip tree, Liriodedron tulipifera. Willow, Salix spp.

Flight time: Adults are seen from spring to fall, although the exact date varies depending on the location. In the south, they are seen from February to November; in the north, they are seen from May to September. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail produces two broods in the north and three in the south. The first broods yield the smallest adults.

Distribution: the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the state butterfly of Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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Two-tailed Swallowtail

Pterourus multicaudata

Two-tailed Swallowtail, Papilio multicaudata. North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona d. 7 august 2012. Fotograf; Henrik S. Larsen

Two-tailed Swallowtail, Pterourus multicaudata. North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona d. 7 august 2012. Photographer; Henrik S. Larsen

Two-tailed Swallowtail, Pterourus multicaudata (W. F. Kirby, 1884) Upper surface of male forewing are yellow with narrow black stripes. Each hindwing has 2 tails.

Wingspan: 90 - 127 mm. Females are larger than males.

Habitats: Foothill slopes and canyons, moist valleys, streamsides, woodlands, parks, roadsides, suburbs, and cities.

Behaviour: Males patrol stream courses or city streets for receptive females. Are visiting flowers for nectar as thistles, milkweeds, California buckeye, lilac, and many others.

Host plants: Chokecherry, Prunus. Ash, Fraxinus spp. Wafer ash/hop tree, Ptelea trifoliata.

Flight time: One flight May to mid-August in North, most of year in South.

Distribution: Western North America south from British Columbia, east to central Nebraska and central Texas, south through Mexico.

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Gray Hairstreak

Strymon melinus

. Salt Lake City,  Utah, USA d. 19 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten Siems

Gray Hairstreak, Strymon melinus (Hübner, 1818). Salt Lake City, Utah, USA d. 19 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten Siems

Gray Hairstreak, Strymon melinus (Hübner, 1818) Upperside blue-gray with large red spot near the one tail on hindwing. Underside of spring/fall form is dark gray, summer form is paler gray. Relatively straight postmedian line is white, bordered with orange on the inside edge.

Wingspan: 22-35 mm.

Habitats: can be found on fields, ditches, along small streams, ruderal, gardens and parks. Because it has adapted to many different habitats and host plants, Gray Hairstreak is a generalist, and is not considered threatened.

Flight time: two flights from May-September in the north, three-four flights from February-November in the south.

Host plants: flowers and fruits from an almost endless variety of plants; most often from Beans, Phaseolus. Clovers, Trifolium. Cotton, Gossypium and Mallow, Malva.

Distribution: throughout continental United States from southern Canada south to Mexico and Venezuela. Comments: The most widespread hairstreak in North America.

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California Sister

Adelpha californica

Yosemite, Californien, d. 9 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten SiemsCalifornia Sister, Adelpha californica. Yosemite, Californien, d. 9 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten SiemsCalifornia Sister, Adelpha californica. Yosemite, Californien, d. 9 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten Siems

California Sister, Adelpha californica. Yosemite, Californien d. 9 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten Siems

California Sister, Adelpha californica (Butler, 1865) This is a medium to large sized brown-black colored butterfly with a relatively narrow dorsal forewing postdiscal creamy white colored band above with a relatively large orange patch on the forewing. Wingspand: 63 - 101 mm.

Habitats: oak woodlands, Females are highly dispersive and are most likely to be seen in unusual places. The species is not a permanent resident in our area above 1500 m. but is seen regularly up to 2100 m.or higher in late spring-early summer and again in autumn.

Adults visit flowers California Buckeye, Yerba Santa, Dogbane, Giant Hyssop, Goldenrod, Coyotebrush, but also dung, carrion, flowing sap, damaged fruit, etc.--a very tropical lifestyle.

Flighttime: Two to three broods, flying March or April to November at lower elevations.

Host plants: oaks, especially Live Oaks, Quercus agrifolia, Q. wislizenii and Q. chrysolepis.

Distribution: in California from northern Baja to western Nevada and western Oregon, most abundant in the foothills (Sierra and Coast Range/Bay Area) and lower montane zone. Uncommon or rare, and irregular, on the floor of the Central Valley, but occasionally seen in cities and suburbs.

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Weidemeyer's Admiral

Limenitis weidemeyerii

Weidemeyer's Admiral, Limenitis weidemeyerii (W.H. Edwards, 1861). Salt Lake City,  Utah, USA d. 19 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten Siems

Weidemeyer's Admiral, Limenitis weidemeyerii. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA d. 19 july 2012. Photographer; Carsten Siems

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Banded Purple

Basilarchia arthemis

Banded Purple, Basilarchia arthemis. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada. d. 27 juli 2007. Fotograf: Bjørn Brøndsted

Banded Purple, Basilarchia arthemis. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada d. 27 juli 2007. Photographer; Bjørn Brøndsted

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 About 100km south on Fairbanks, Alaska, USA d. 13  september 2014. Photographer;  Carsten SiemsCompton Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis vaualbum (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) left & right: Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa (Linnaeus, 1758. About 100km south on Fairbanks, Alaska, USA d. 13  september 2014. Photographer;  Carsten SiemsCompton Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis vaualbum (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775).. ca. 100km syd for Fairbanks, Alaska, USA d. 13  september 2014. Photographer;  Carsten SiemsGreen Anglewing, Polygonia faunus (W. H. Edwards, 1862). ca. 100km syd for Fairbanks, Alaska, USA d. 13  september 2014. Photographer;  Carsten Siems

Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa Compton Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis vaualbum Green Anglewing, Polygonia faunus
(Linnaeus, 1758). (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775). (W. H. Edwards, 1862).
About 100km south on Fairbanks, Alaska, USA d. 13 september 2014. Photographer; Carsten Siems

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Ross's Alpine

Erebia rossii

Ross´s Alpine, Erebia rossii Curtis, 1835 Baffin Island d. 30 june 2010. Photographer; Clare Kines

Ross's Alpine, Erebia rossii (Curtis, 1835) Baffin Island, Arctic Canada d. 30 june 2010. Photographer; Clare Kines

Brigadoon, Baffin Island by Clare Kines

and Iqaluit, Baffin Island.

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Butterflies of America and the Interactive Listing of American Butterflies

Butterflies of North America Paul A. Opler, Ray E. Stanford, and Harry Pavulaan

Butterflies of Canada Governement du Canada

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BUTTERFLIES from NEARCTIC

&

BUTTERFLIES from BOLIVIA

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