Thanks for visiting the Maine butterflies page. Gratography members can easily contribute. Register today.
With approximately one hundred and twenty butterfly species, Maine ranks on the lower end of the butterfly diversity spectrum for US states.
While the number might be small in size, the people of Maine take their butterflies seriously. The publishers of the Maine butterfly atlas recently said,
several of Maine’s butterfly species are of regional, national, and global conservation concern. Of special note is the relatively high proportion (~20%) of Maine butterflies that are currently considered Historic or Extirpated (9 spp.), or state-listed as Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern (15 spp.), a result consistent with global trends elsewhere for the group
This page provides a current list of Maine butterflies with pictures covering a sample of representative species.
Visitors looking for additional butterfly identification help can press the green butterflies button.
Butterflies: Whites and Yellows
Cabbage White butterflies are the most common of the white butterflies. They fly around residential gardens from spring through summer. Females, like the one in the picture, have two black spots on an otherwise white wing. Males have one black spot on the wing. Here’s a list of the rest of the white butterflies and yellow butterflies documented in the state.
Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers
Unlike many states on the East Coast, Maine does host a fair number of copper butterflies. The picture shows a Bog Copper.
Eastern Pine Elfin
Western Pine Elfin
Brush Footed Butterflies
Maine’s location in the northern part of the United States, along with a mountain terrain means that fritillaries and commas are going to be the dominant species. They both have orange shaded wings. The picture shows an Eastern Comma.
Species from both genera can occasionally be found in gardens and residential areas. In more populated areas, the remainder of the Maine brush footed butterflies are commonly seen in gardens and residential areas. They are fairly easy to photography as they nectar on flowers.
Great Spangled Fritillary
arthemis White Admiral
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Four of the six swallowtail butterflies that live in Maine have dark color wings. The picture shows a Black Swallowtail. The small light spots on the otherwise dark abdomen serve as a good field identification clue.
- Pipevine Swallowtail
- Black Swallowtail
- Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
- Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
- Spicebush Swallowtail
- Giant Swallowtail
Maine Butterflies: Other
Metalmarks are not a common East Coast butterfly family, and there are no recorded species in Maine. Otherwise, Maine does host approximately three dozen skipper butterflies. The picture shows an Arctic Skipper.
Butterfly identification usually begins with color. So, the butterfly section is split 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.