Types of Butterflies
Butterfly Pictures

I am sure you have seen many of these types of butterflies.
The information and pictures of butterflies here will help you distinguish some common types.

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

Swallowtail Butterflies

The 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.

Black Swallowtail types of butterflies

Eastern Black Swallowtail

picture of Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Eastern Black Swallowtail

female Black Swallowtail Butterfly picture

Eastern Black Swallowtail

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

    Giant Swallowtail Butterfly has pale yellow with black on the underside.

More Butterfly Paintings by Carol May.

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

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on flowers

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
male or female

dark form of female Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
Some Tiger Swallowtail females
are a dark form

Zebra Swallowtail, a Florida butterfly

Zebra Swallowtail 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 Butterfly photo

Cabbage White

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 Butterfly picture

Great Southern White

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.

One time I saw a group of Sulphur Butterflies puddling around the edge of a mud puddle.
There were so many that they looked like a bunch of bright colored fall leaves.

Types of Butterflies

Many of our familiar butterflies are the Brush-footed type.

They don't use their smaller 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 Florida state butterfly

Zebra Longwing Butterfly, the Florida State Butterfly.

They live several months, longer than other type of butterflies.
Other 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.

They sleep together at night-time in large groups.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly underside

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.

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 Longwing Butterfly

The Julia Butterfly
Sometimes called the Orange Longwing.

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

Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly
on a Butterfly Bush flower.

Virginia Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

Plant some Butterfly Flowers

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

The White Peacock Butterfly
is seen all year in south Florida.

Buckeye Butterfly photo

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

Red Admiral Butterfly photo

The Red Admiral is another brush-foot.

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

Pearl Crescent Butterfly picture

The Pearl Crescent Butterfly
is commonly seen in grassy areas in the East

 Monarch Butterfly Mimics

Florida Viceroy Butterfly picture

Viceroy Butterfly
It has a heavy band on the hind-wing. 

underside of Florida Viceroy Butterfly

Viceroy Butterfly
No such band exists on Monarchs.

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 picture

Monarch Butterfly
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

Monarch Butterfly

Learn more about the Monarch Butterfly.

Queen Butterfly picture

Queen Butterfly

Top side lacks the black veins of the Monarch.

Queen Butterfly picture

Queen Butterfly

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 butterfly

Silver-spotted Skipper

Long-tailed Skipper butterfly

Long-tailed Skipper

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.

Sphnix Moth

Sphinx 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.

You may want to visit more pages ---

> > Butterfly Types

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