Types of Butterflies
Butterfly Pictures

What types of butterflies do you have in your yard? I have had such fun learning to identify the butterflies in my yard.

Types of Butterflies

This information and pictures of butterflies will help you name some butterfly types in your yard.

Swallowtail Butterflies have long tails. 
Identify Sulphurs and Whites by their colors.
Brush-footed Butterflies are a large group including Longwing Butterflies.
Monarchs are in the Milkweed Butterflies group. 
We often see Skippers on our flowers and then Moths around lights at night.

Swallowtail Butterflies

Swallowtail Butterflies probably are the most remarkable of the many types of butterflies.

They are very large and a favorite of many people.

They have an elongation on the back end of their hind-wings.

The swallowtail extensions attract the attention of birds to keep them from pecking their head.

The male and female swallowtails can differ somewhat in coloring.

Eastern Black Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail
picture of Eastern Black Swallowtail ButterflyMale Black Swallowtail
female Black Swallowtail Butterfly pictureFemale Black Swallowtail

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly

 Spicebrush Swallowtail Butterfly

Spicebrush Swallowtail Butterfly

The blush on the hind-wings may be blue or white

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

Giant Swallowtail picture

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly is almost six inches in length.
It has bright yellow and black markings on the top of the wings.

Casein painting of the Giant Swallowtail butterfly

    The Giant Swallowtail is pale yellow with black on the underside.
Painting by Carol May

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on flowersMale or Female
dark form of female Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Some Tiger Swallowtail females are a dark form

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Zebra Swallowtail, a Florida butterfly

Sulphurs and Whites

Sulphurs and Whites are the most common type of butterflies.
They are just like their names imply, either white or sulphur yellow. 

They are smaller than the large swallowtails, but more numerous.
They include the Alfalfa Butterfly and the Cabbage White.

Cabbage White

Cabbage White Butterfly photo

I would always see the whites in the farm fields of California.
I saw them many times in the alfalfa fields, I guess they like alfalfa, too.

Great Southern White

Great Southern White Butterfly picture

Here in Florida many times I see them on the roadside plants.
You can tell it by the distinctive blue tip on their antennas.

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly

I often see the Cloudless Sulphurs flying across my backyard.
When they fly, they don't float or drift the way most of the larger butterflies fly.
They are always flapping their wings.

Types of Butterflies

Many of our familiar butterflies are the Brush-footed type.
They don't use their small front legs for walking. They look a bit like a brush.
They walk and stand mainly on their back pairs of legs.

Longwing Butterflies
Longwing Butterflies are a popular type of butterflies here in Florida.
Their wings are much longer then they are wide.

Longwings are actually are part of the group of Brush-footed Butterflies,
but who looks at their feet. It is easier to see their long wings.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly
The Florida State Butterfly

Zebra Longwing Florida state butterfly

They live several months, longer than other butterflies.
Other types of butterflies live just a few weeks.
They eat pollen as well as nectar.
The pollen gives them added nutrition which extends their life.
Maybe we should start eating pollen.
More Butterfly Facts
They sleep together at night-time in large groups.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Another longwing butterfly is the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly.
It is a common type of butterflies here in Florida.

They have orange wings with dark spots, but they have no definite vein markings.
The top-side of their wings look completely different from the underside.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly undersideUnderside

You may think they are different types of butterflies until you see both wing sides.
They have large silvery spots on the underside of their wings.

Julia Butterfly - Orange Longwing

Julia Longwing Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

The Painted and Virginia Ladies are more of the Brush-footed types of butterflies.
They have very interesting patterns on the underside of their wings.

Virginia Painted Lady ButterflyUnderside

Virginia Lady Butterfly

Virginia Painted Lady Butterfly

         The Virginia Lady Butterfly has a large eye-spot on the back wings.             
The Painted Lady lacks the eye-spot.

White Peacock Butterfly

White Peacock Butterfly

Buckeye Butterfly

Buckeye Butterfly photo

I see these in the grass often when I am mowing.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral Butterfly photo

I was stunned by the brilliant red on them
the first time I saw one.

Pearl Crescent Butterfly 

Pearl Crescent Butterfly picture

It is commonly seen in grassy areas in the East

Viceroy Butterfly

Florida Viceroy Butterfly picture

It has a heavy band on the hind-wing. 
No such band exists on Monarchs.

underside of Florida Viceroy Butterfly

Milkweed Butterflies

They are one of the best known types of butterflies.

The Monarch Butterfly is in the group of Milkweed Butterflies. They eat from the milkweeds.
This type of butterfly gets a chemical from the milkweeds that make them taste bad to predators.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly picture

Notice the enlarged black spot on the male's hind-wing vein.
This enlarged spot differentiates them from the Viceroy and Queen.

Monarch Butterfly with folded wings

Learn more about the Monarch Butterfly.

Queen Butterfly

Queen Butterfly picture

Top side lacks the black veins of the Monarch.

Queen Butterfly picture

Underside of Queen resembles the Monarch.


Skippers are small type of butterfly they ‘skip’ in a hurry from flower to flower.
Because of their small wings in proportion to their body they have to fly in a hurry.

Many of them are dark or dull in color.

Silver-spotted Skipper

Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly

Long-tailed Skipper

Long-tailed Skipper butterfly

Tropical Checkered Skipper Butterfly

Tropical Checkered Skipper butterfly


Some moths are very colorful. They look fuzzy or furry because their wing scales stand up.

Learn more ways to tell the Difference between Moths and Butterflies.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

The Luna Moth is a beautiful green color.

Sphinx Moth

Sphnix Moth

Whether you know the names and types of butterflies
when you see them is not as important as enjoying them.

It is fun to learn the different butterfly types in your yard.


> > Butterfly Types

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