Thanks for visiting Iowa butterflies. The top picture shows a Pearl Crescent, one of the most widely distributed species in the state.
Gratography members can easily contribute their Iowa butterfly pictures and stories. Register today.
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 shows an Orange Sulphur Butterfly. With the exception of the Mexican Yellow, most of the Pieridae can be found throughout the state. The remainder of the Iowa Pieridae list follows.
Large Orange Sulphur
Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers
Although small, the Juniper Hairstreaks are very attractive butterflies. They are typically found on and around cedar trees, the caterpillar hosts. It is distributed rather evenly in counties on the east and west parts of the state.
Many other Iowa blues, hairstreaks and coppers can be found in fields, forests and residential areas. The Marine Blue is probably the least common of the bunch, found only in a few counties.
Great Purple Hairstreak
Brush Footed Butterflies
Most of the butterflies that are common in residential areas and gardens throughout the state belong to the Brush footed category. The orange wings of many species such as Snouts, Monarchy, Queens, Fritillaries are a good indication of their being Brush Footed species.
The picture shows a Goatweed Leafwing, one of the few Brush Footed species with extended appendages at the bottom of the wings. Look for it in the counties that border the south end of the state.
Great Spangled Fritillary
arthemis White Admiral
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Iowa hosts a small number of Swallowtail species. Three species are present throughout the state, the Black, Eastern Tiger SWallowtails. The picture is of a Zebra Swallowtail, a very uncommon species mostly found in one Southwestern County. Occasional strays can sometimes be found.
- Pipevine Swallowtail
- Zebra Swallowtail
- Black Swallowtail
- Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
- Spicebush Swallowtail
- Giant Swallowtail
Butterfly identification usually begins with color. The Iowa butterfly section is divided into nine different categories 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.