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A larger than average land mass and varied geography provides the state with sufficient factors to host a fairly diverse butterfly population, especially for a state that borders the northern edge of the United States.
The picture at the top of th page, a Monarch Butterfly, is honored as the official state butterfly.
This section provides pictures of some representative species, along with lists of native butterflies arranged by family. Anyone looking for butterfly identification help can press the green butterfly button for more information.
Butterflies: Whites and Yellows
Residents and tourists can enjoy a bit of diversity in the family Pieridae. The butterflies with yellow and white wing fly in residential areas and gardens and fields around the state.
The picture shows a Clouded Sulphur butterfly. Here’s a list of the rest of the white butterflies and yellow butterflies documented in the state.
Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers
Minnesota, the land of one thousand, lakes hosts a great variety of blues, hairstreaks and coppers in the fields around those lakes. All the species tend to either puddle on the ground or perch on branches close to the ground.
The picture shows a side view of an Eastern Tailed-blue, the blue butterfly with a hair-like appendage at the bottom of the wings similar to the haristreaks.
Minnestoa Butterflies: Brushfoots
Nothing says diversity in the Minnesota brushfoot category like the number of southern species such as the Gulf Fritillary and Hackberry Emperor making their way to the northern most areas of the country. The picture shows a side view of the Hackberry Emperor.
The presence of almost a dozen Wood Nymphs and Satyrs many specifically northern species also adds to the state’s butterfly diversity.
Tourists will often see swallowtail butterflies around their hotels and outdoor spots. They are common anywhere trees and flowers are present. The picture shows a Spicebush Swallowtail.
- Pipevine Swallowtail
- Zebra Swallowtail
- Black Swallowtail
- Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
- Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
- Spicebush Swallowtail
- Giant Swallowtail
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.