Alabama Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

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picture of a Cabbage  White butterfly

Welcome to the Alabama Butterflies section. Become a member today and help build our resource.

Butterfly identification usually begins with color. So, the Alabama butterflies section divides into categories based on wing color and/or the butterfly family. The buttons for the groups are listed at the end of the article. All people looking for general butterfly identification help can press the green butterfly button for more information.

Here’s a quick list of Alabama butterflies and species to get things started.

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows


Alabama butterflies nicely divide when it comes to the family Pieridae. That’s the formal name of the family that consists of the butterflies with white wings and yellow wings. The picture shows a Cabbage White butterfly, a ubiquitous butterfly seen around gardens across the United States. Here’s the remainder of the whites and yellows list documented for Alabama.
Whites
Falcate Orangetip
West Virginia White
Cabbage White
Checkered White
Great Southern White
Yellows
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Southern Dogface
Cloudless Sulphur
Barred Yellow
Little Yellow
Sleepy Orange
Dainty Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers


picture of an Edward's Hairstreak butterfly, part of the Alabama butterflies section
The common name Gossamer-wing butterflies refers to members of the family Lycaenidae. They split into three groups, the blues,hairstreaks and coppers. Alabama hosts a nice variety of species. Just as with most southern states, the majority of species are haristreaks. The picture shows and Edward’s Hairstreak. Here’s a nice list of the Alabama butterflies belonging to the Lycanidae to help with identification.
Blues
Cassius Blue
Eastern Pygmy-Blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Summer Azure
Silvery Blue
Reakirt’s Blue
Hairstreaks
Great Purple Hairstreak
Hessel’s Hairstreak
Juniper Hairstreak
Brown Elfin
Frosted Elfin
Henry’s Elfin
Eastern Pine Elfin
Oak Hairstreak
Coral Hairstreak
Edwards’ Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
King’s Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Red-banded Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
White-M Hairstreak
Coppers
American Copper

Brush Footed Butterflies


picture of a Mourning Cloak
Alabama has an affinity for butterflies. They named the Monarch butterfly their official state insect. It’s one of many dazzling Alabama butterflies in the brushfoot family. The picture shows a Mourning Cloak, another large and showy species Here’s the entire list. There’s a nice collection of Satyrs and Wood Nymphs.
Brush footed
American Snout
Monarch
Queen
Gulf Fritillary
Zebra Heliconian
Variegated Fritillary
Diana Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple or White Admiral
Red-spotted Purple
Viceroy
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor
Silvery Checkerspot
Gorgone Checkerspot
Brush footed
Phaon Crescent
Pearl Crescent
Texan Crescent
Baltimore Checkerspot
Common Buckeye
White Peacock
Malachite
Question Mark
Eastern Comma
Mourning Cloak
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
American Lady
Goatweed Leafwing
Southern Pearly-eye
Northern Pearly-eye
Creole Pearly-eye
Appalachian Brown
Gemmed Satyr
Georgia Satyr
Mitchell’s Satyr
Little Wood-Satyr
Carolina Satyr
Common Wood-Nymph

Butterflies: Swallowtails


picture of a Zebra Swallowtail butterfly
Alabama’s warmer climate makes it hospitable for eight different swallowtail butterflies. They do lack the Parnassian species, because they are the more cold hardy of the swallowtail family species. The picture shows a Zebra Swallowtail. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the official state butterfly.
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Zebra Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Palamedes Swallowtail
  • Giant Swallowtail

Alabama Butterflies: Metalmarks


picture of a Swamp Metalmark: credit Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren flickr
Metalmarks are mostly a southern species, however Alabama only host two. The picture shows a Swamp Metalmark.
  • Little Metalmark
  • Swamp Metalmark