Butterfly Showcase

Danaus plexippusStarting to see a few Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) out and about. Danaus plexippus

Papilio polyxenesAnd the Black Swallowtails (Papilio polyxenes) are also active now. Male above, female below, I think.Papilio polyxenes

Papilio glaucusEastern Tiger Swallowtail(Papilio glaucus) female. A very conspicuous butterfly, both for her size (4-4.5″ wingspan) and her bold tiger-like patterning. Males lack the deep blue.

Vanessa virginiensisBut wait! Delaying this post has meant I keep running across more species! This American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) was spotted the other day. Close enough to touch.Vanessa virginiensis

Here, then, is every species of butterfly I’ve seen within the bounds of NYC. I only have a few skippers listed, for there are certainly several more “grass skipper” species that I just can not differentiate.

Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)
Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)
Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) ? this complex is complicated!
Common Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)
Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme) these two Colias are pretty hard to differentiate, but I think I have
Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)
Eastern Tailed Blue (Cupido comyntas)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
Duskywing (could have been Horace’s, Erynnis horatius or Juvenal’s, E. juvenalis)
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis)
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
Common Sootywing (Pholisora catullus)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) — our most common butterfly, introduced from Europe. Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon)
Peck’s Skipper (Polites peckius)
Tawny-edged Skipper (Polites themistocles)
Eastern Comma Polygonia comma
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)
Grey Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

(I’ll update this listing as necessary.)

All my butterfly posts. Which ones are you seeing?

9 Responses to “Butterfly Showcase”


  1. 2 Leslie Farragher August 5, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Definitely…beautiful photographs!

  2. 3 elwnyc August 5, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve been seeing some summer azures (Celastrina ladon) lately, though if it weren’t August I wouldn’t know them from spring azures.

    Beautiful photos – just wish they’d sit still long enough for my camera to focus.

  3. 5 Dawn August 5, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I’ve seen only some of the many you list, and only one you don’t (inside NYC limits): the Cloudless Sulphur, Phoebis sennae. It was investigating the outside of my window in a Midtown office building, 34 stories up. It seems improbable, but it was easily twice the size of the Clouded Sulphurs I’m familiar with. Aside from that once, I’ve only seen them in butterfly enclosures like the one at Sweetbriar in Suffolk.

    • 6 mthew August 6, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Always fascinated by insects at altitude; they can get up pretty high. I’ve not see a Cloudless; my Kaufman field guide does say they are substantially bigger than the Clouded.


  1. 1 Skippers | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on August 19, 2016 at 7:00 am
  2. 2 Monarch Butterfly – Hello Creatives Times Trackback on October 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm
  3. 3 Variegated | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on October 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm

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