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A small territory with mostly lowland plains explains the comparatively low butterfly diversity in the state.
Approximately one hundred and fifty species, including the Skipper butterflies have been documented.
The top picture shows a Spicebush Swallowtail, the official state butterfly, and also the most common swallowtail species.
The following list provides a representative sample of pictures of Mississippi butterflies. Anyone looking for additional pictures and identification help can press the green butterflies button.
Butterflies: Whites and Yellows
Pieridae is the formal name of the family that consists of the butterflies with white wings and yellow wings. Like most of the states in the South, Mississippi has a move diverse yellow butterflies population.
The Great Southern White, pictured, is probably the most common of the white species, apart from the ever present Cabbage White. The following list documents the remainder of Mississippi’s Pieridae species.
Great Southern White
Large Orange Sulphur
Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers
When the talk is about Mississippi butterflies in th Gossamer Wing category, hairstreaks dominate the conversation. Combined there are less coppers and blues than their are hairstreak species. Still, compared to other Southern states, Mississippi lacks diversity in all the Gossamer Wing species. The picture shows a Pygmy Blue butterfly.
Great Purple Hairstreak
Eastern Pine Elfin
Brush Footed Butterflies
The presence of ten Wood Nymphs and Satyrs provides a bit of diversity in the Mississippi brush footed category. The remainder of the list is very similar to all the Gulf Coast states. The picture shows a Pearl Crescent butterfly. Crescents rank among the smallest of the brush footed species. Look for them flying low to the ground.
Great Spangled Fritillary
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Mississippi Butterflies: Swallowtails
Five of Mississippi’s swallowtail species have dark colored wings. The Palamedes Swallowtail, pictured can be most easily identified by the stripes on the abdomen.
- Pipevine Swallowtail
- Zebra Swallowtail
- Black Swallowtail
- Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
- Spicebush Swallowtail
- Palamedes Swallowtail
- Giant Swallowtail
Only one metalmark, the Little Metalmark flies in Mississippi.
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.