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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.
West Virginia White
Great Southern White
Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers
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.
Great Purple Hairstreak
Eastern Pine Elfin
Brush Footed Butterflies
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.
Great Spangled Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple or White Admiral
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
Metalmarks are mostly a southern species, however Alabama only host two. The picture shows a Swamp Metalmark.
- Little Metalmark
- Swamp Metalmark