Minnesota Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

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picture of a Monarch Butterfly the state butterfly of Minnesota

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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

picture of a Clouded-sulphur Butterfly, part of the Minnesota butterflies series.
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.

Large Marble
Olympia Marble
Pine White
Mustard White
Cabbage White
Checkered White
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Giant Sulphur
Pink-edged Sulphur
Southern Dogface
Cloudless Sulphur
Orange-barred Sulphur
Mexican Yellow
Little Yellow
Sleepy Orange
Dainty Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers

picture of an Eastern tailed blue
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.

Marine Blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Western Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Northern Azure
Summer Azure
Silvery Blue
Reakirt’s Blue
Northern Blue
Melissa Blue
Greenish Blue
Lupine Blue
Juniper Hairstreak
Brown Elfin
Hoary Elfin
Henry’s Elfin
Eastern PineElfin
Western PineElfin
Coral Hairstreak
Acadian Hairstreak
Hickory Hairstreak
Edwards’ Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
American Copper
Gray Copper
Bronze Copper
Bog Copper
Purplish Copper
Dorcas Copper

Minnestoa Butterflies: Brushfoots

picture of a side view of a Hackberry Emperor butterfly
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.

Brush footed
American Snout
Gulf Fritillary
Variegated Fritillary
Great SpangledFritillary
Aphrodite Fritillary
Regal Fritillary
Atlantis Fritillary
Mormon Fritillary
Bog Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Frigga Fritillary
Freija Fritillary
Arctic Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple
White Admiral
Astyanax’ Red-spottedPurple
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor
Silvery Checkerspot
Gorgone Checkerspot
Bordered Patch
Harris’ Checkerspot
Brush footed
Pearl Crescent
Northern Crescent
Tawny Crescent
Baltimore Checkerspot
Chalcedon Checkerspot
Common Buckeye
Question Mark
Eastern Comma
Satyr Comma
Green Comma
Hoary Comma
Gray Comma
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell
Compton Tortoiseshell
Mourning Cloak
California Tortoiseshell
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
American Lady
Northern Pearly-eye
Eyed Brown
Appalachian Brown
Common Ringlet
Little Wood-Satyr
Taiga Alpine
Red-disked Alpine
Jutta Arctic
Macoun’s Arctic
Uhler’s Arctic
Common Wood-Nymph

Swallowtail Butterflies

picture of a Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly
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.