Alaska Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

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picture of a Margined White butterfly

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Butterfly identification usually begins with color. The butterfly section splits into categories listed at the bottom of the page based on wing color and/or the butterfly family to help all visitors and members easily categorize and document their butterfly pictures. Anyone looking for butterfly identification help can press the green butterfly button for more information.

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows

Pieridae is the formal name of the family that consists of the butterflies with white wings and yellow wings. The picture at the top of the page shows a Margined White butterfly. It’s one of over a dozen species living in Alaska. Here’s the remainder of the list documented in the state.

Green Marble
Large Marble
Northern Marble
Arctic White
Margined White
Cabbage White
Western White
Clouded Sulphur
Christina Sulphur
Hecla Sulphur
Canadian Sulphur
Booth’s Sulphur
Labrador Sulphur
Giant Sulphur
Palaeno Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers

picture of a Nothern blue butterfly
A small, but diverse group of blues, hairstreaks and coppers define Alaska butterflies. Here’s a list. The picture shows a Northern Blue.
Western Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Silvery Blue
Reakirt’s Blue
Northern Blue
Greenish Blue
Cranberry Blue
Arctic Blue
Brown Elfin
Hoary Elfin
American Copper
Dorcas Copper
Mariposa Copper

Brush Footed Butterflies

picture of a Northwestern Fritillary
Brush Footed butterflies are the most common butterflies in the Northern hemisphere, and Alaska butterflies for the average butterfly enthusiast means Brush footed butterflies.

The most enthusiastic also know that Alaska also recently announced some great butterfly news with the discovery of a new species, the Tanana Arctic (Oeneis tanana).

The picture shows a Northwestern Fritillary, one of over a dozen native Fritillary species. Here’s the entire list.

Brush footed
Zerene Fritillary
Atlantis Fritillary
Northwestern Fritillary
Mormon Fritillary
Mountain Fritillary
Bog Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Frigga Fritillary
Dingy Fritillary
Polaris Fritillary
Freija Fritillary
Cryptic Fritillary
Astarte Fritillary
Arctic Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple or White Admiral
White Admiral
Field Crescent
Chalcedon Checkerspot
Satyr Comma
Green Comma
Hoary Comma
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell
Compton Tortoiseshell
Mourning Cloak
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
Brush footed
Common Ringlet
Ross’ Alpine
Disa Alpine
Taiga Alpine
Mt. McKinley Alpine
Banded Alpine
Common Alpine
Red-disked Alpine
Yellow-dotted Alpine
Four-dotted Alpine
Erebia lafontainei
Erebia occulta
Reddish Alpine
Philip’s Arctic
Polixenes Arctic
Jutta Arctic
Melissa Arctic
Sentinel Arctic
White-veined Arctic
Chryxus Arctic
Uhler’s Arctic

Butterflies: Swallowtails

picture of a Canadian Swallowtail butterfly
Parnassian are the more cold hardy of the swallowtail family species. Alaska is home to two Parnassian and two Swallowtail species.
  • Eversmann’s Parnassian
  • Phoebus Parnassian
  • Old World Swallowtail
  • Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Butterflies: Skippers

picture of a Arctic Skipper, one of Alaska butterflies in the skipper family
  • Afranius Duskywing
  • Persius Duskywing
  • Grizzled Skipper
  • Arctic Skipper
  • Common Branded Skipper