Oregon Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

Shares 0

picture of a Pacific Dotted Blue butterfly, part of the Oregon butterflies collection

Gratography members are invited to share their pictures and stories about Oregon butterflies here. Register today.

Size and a diverse landscape provide Oregon with plenty of different butterfly habitat. It easily translates in a diverse group of butterflies.

Visitors looking for butterflies would do well to start at the coast, the coastal range mountains, the Cascades and areas East of the Cascades. The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is the southern part of the state is an especially good butterfly hot spot.

The story of Oregon butterflies is not always sunshine. Two species, The Taylor’s Checkerspot and the Fender’s Blue are listed as endangered.

picture of a Taylor's Checkerspot butterfly, part of the Oregon butterflies collection
Taylor’s Checkerspot is a very colorful butterfly and a subspecies of the Edith Checkerspot. Habitat destruction accounts for most of the population decline.

Its primary habitat, oak and grasslands have been converted for agriculture and urban development purposes. In 2013 the US Fish and Wildlife Service released their habitat plans for the species saying:

the Service designated 1,921 acres in Washington and 20 acres in Oregon. Almost 400 of those acres belong to conservation organizations that support the designation as part of their missions

Currently conservation organizations such as the Xerces Society are working on a two-pronged approach to help the populations: habitat rehabilitation and captive rearing.

According to the Cascadia Prairie Oak Partnership:

A combined total of 4,901 checkerspots were counted across six sites (R76, R50, SCS, PCM, GHP and TA7S) during distance sampling surveys in 2014, a 60 percent increase compared to the 2013 count. Long-term monitoring and population goals developed in fall 2012 were used to assess progress at R50. Based on those criteria, that site far exceeded the target of 250 adults on a single day in both 2012 and 2013, based solely on natural reproduction.

Increased population numbers suggest that the Taylor’s Checkerspot might be around to enjoy the sunshine into the future.

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

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows


picture of a Pacific Orangetip
Oregon butterflies consist of a variety of species in the family Pieridae. Most people know them as the the butterflies with white wings and yellow wings. The picture shows an Orangetip butterfly, one of the white wing butterflies with a bit of sparkle added to the wings.
Whites
Pacific Orangetip
Stella Orangetip
Gray Marble
Large Marble
Desert Marble
California Marble
Pine White
Margined White
Cabbage White
Becker’s White
Checkered White
Western White
Spring White
Yellows
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Western Sulphur
Queen Alexandra’s Sulphur
Pelidne Sulphur
Pink-edged Sulphur
Cloudless Sulphur
Tailed Orange

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers


picture of an arrowhead blue butterfly
Spring, summer and fall, there is always a healthy diversity of Oregon butterflies in the gossamer-wing category. Like many Western states, Oregon does have nice balance of coppers, blues an hairstreaks. Traveling east and west of the Cascade Mountains is necessary for seeing and photographing the entire bunch.

The picture shows an Arrowhead blue, they are often found in particular mountain locations.

Coppers
Tailed Copper
American Copper
Lustrous Copper
Great Copper
Edith’s Copper
Gorgon Copper
Ruddy Copper
Blue Copper
Purplish Copper
Lilac-bordered Copper
Mariposa Copper
Hairstreaks
Columbian Blue
Golden Hairstreak
Great Purple Hairstreak
Western Green Hairstreak
Sheridan’s Green Hairstreak
Nelson’s Hairstreak
Juniper Hairstreak
Thicket Hairstreak
Johnson’s Hairstreak
Brown Elfin
Moss’ Elfin
Hoary Elfin
Western Pine Elfin
Coral Hairstreak
California Hairstreak
Sylvan Hairstreak
Gold-hunter’s Hairstreak
Mountain Mahogany Hairstreak
Hedgerow Hairstreak
Behr’s Hairstreak
Sooty Hairstreak
Sagebrush Sooty Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
Blues
Marine Blue
Western Pygmy-Blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Western Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Echo Azure
Arrowhead Blue
Silvery Blue
Pumice Dotted-Blue
Western Square-dotted Blue
Intermediate Dotted-Blue
Pacific Dotted-Blue
Rocky Mountain Dotted-Blue
Northern Blue
Anna’s Blue
Melissa Blue
Greenish Blue
Boisduval’s Blue
Shasta Blue
Acmon Blue
Lupine Blue
Sierra Nevada Blue

Brush Footed Butterflies


picture of a Painted Lady butterfly
The list shows that the types of butterflies in Oregon belonging to the Brush footed family tend to fall into a few common genera such as Fritillaries, Checkerspots, Commas and Crescents. As tourists travel up and down the coast, or from west to east across the mountains, it’s good to remember that fact. There’s always a new butterfly species around the corner or at the next rest stop.
Brush footed
Mormon Metalmark
Monarch
Queen
Variegated Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Coronis Fritillary
Zerene Fritillary
Callippe Fritillary
Great Basin Fritillary
Northwestern Fritillary
Hydaspe Fritillary
Mormon Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Pacific Fritillary
Viceroy
Lorquin’s Admiral
Weidemeyer’s Admiral
California Sister
Leanira Checkerspot
Hoffmann’s Checkerspot
Sagebrush Checkerspot
Northern Checkerspot
California Crescent
Pale Crescent
Mylitta Crescent
Northern Crescent
Field Crescent
Brush footed
Gillette’s Checkerspot
Edith’s Checkerspot
Chalcedon Checkerspot
Anicia Checkerspot
Colon Checkerspot
Common Buckeye
Satyr Comma
Green Comma
Hoary Comma
Zephyr Comma
Gray Comma
Oreas Comma
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell
Compton Tortoiseshell
Mourning Cloak
California Tortoiseshell
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
West Coast Lady
American Lady
European Peacock
Common Ringlet
Common Alpine
Ridings’ Satyr
Great Arctic
Common Wood-Nymph
Great Basin Wood-Nymph
Small Wood-Nymph

Butterflies: Swallowtails


picture of a Pale Swallowtail
Oregon hosts a variety of Swallowtail species, including two Parnassian species. The official state insect is the Oregon Swallowtail. Pale Swallowtails look very similar to western Tiger Swallowtails. The difference is a more pale looking set of yellow wings.
  • Clodius Parnassian
  • Rocky Mountain Parnassian
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Old World Swallowtail
  • Oregon Swallowtail
  • Anise Swallowtail
  • Indra Swallowtail
  • Western Tiger Swallowtail
  • Pale Swallowtail
  • Two-tailed Swallowtail

Butterflies: Metalmarks


picture of a mormon Metalmark
  • Mormon Metalmark

Butterfly identification usually begins with color. The Oregon butterflies section divides into nine categories based on wing color and/or the butterfly family.