North Dakota Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

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picture of a Viceroy butterfly from a side view, part of the North Dakota butterflies series

Thanks for visiting North Dakota butterflies. For a Northern state, North Dakota hosts a fairly diverse population of about one hundred and fifty species. Gratography members can contribute to butterfly resource by registering today.

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows

picture of a Checkered White butterfly
There’s a nice balance of whites and yellows in the state. The Checkered White is a native species that often uses weedy plants as caterpillar hosts. It might be confused with the Western White.
Large Marble
Olympia Marble
Mustard White
Cabbage White
Checkered White
Western White
Spring White
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Queen Alexandra’s Sulphur
Southern Dogface
Cloudless Sulphur
Mexican Yellow
Little Yellow
Mimosa Yellow
Dainty Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers

picture of a Rekirks blue
For a Northern tier state, North Dakota hosts a very nice variety of blues, coppers and hairstreaks.

The picture shows a Reakird’s Blue. Not shows is the side view with a more prominent pattern and a darker background color compared to the Tailed-Blues and the Azures. The top view of the male is decidedly blue in color.

Eastern Tailed-Blue
Western Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Summer Azure
Silvery Blue
Reakirt’s Blue
Melissa Blue
Greenish Blue
Boisduval’s Blue
Shasta Blue
Lupine Blue
Arctic Blue
Sheridan’s Green Hairstreak
Juniper Hairstreak
Hoary Elfin
Western Pine Elfin
Coral Hairstreak
Acadian Hairstreak
Edwards’ Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
American Copper
Gray Copper
Bronze Copper
Ruddy Copper
Purplish Copper

Brush Footed Butterflies

picture of a Little Wood Satyr butterfly
The wide diversity of North Dakota brushfoots can be attirbuted to habitat diversity. Many of the checkerspots, commas, ladys and admirals can be found in gardens and residential areas.

The Little Wood Satyr, pictured, lives around woodland edges and glades. Smaller tha the Common Wood Nymph, they tend to be early season butterflies.
It has two conspicuous eyespots on the outer forewings.

Brush footed
American Snout
Gulf Fritillary
Variegated Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Aphrodite Fritillary
Regal Fritillary
Edwards’ Fritillary
Callippe Fritillary
Mormon Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple
arthemis White Admiral
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Weidemeyer’s Admiral
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor
Silvery Checkerspot
Gorgone Checkerspot
Harris’ Checkerspot
Sagebrush Checkerspot
Pearl Crescent
Northern Crescent
Tawny Crescent
Texan Crescent
Brush footed
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
West Coast Lady
American Lady
Northern Pearly-eye
Eyed Brown
Common Ringlet
Little Wood-Satyr
Red-disked Alpine
Ridings’ Satyr
Alberta Arctic
Uhler’s Arctic
Common Wood-Nymph
Mead’s Wood-Nymph
Small Wood-Nymph

Butterflies: Swallowtails

picture of a Giant Swallowtail
It might be difficult to initially differentiate the Giant Swallowtail from other North Dakota swallowtail butterflies with dark wings. The easiest way to do so is look at the underside of the wings. Giant Swallowtails have yellowish colors.

  • Old World Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Anise Swallowtail
  • Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • Two-tailed Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Giant Swallowtail

Butterflies: Metalmarks

picture of a Mormon Metalmark butterfly
  • Mormon Metalmark

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. Anyone looking for butterfly identification help can press the green butterfly button for more information.