Washington Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

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picture of a Red Admiral Butterfly, partof the Washington butterflies section

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Despite being a northern state, Washington enjoys a wide diversity in butterflies. The large size of the state and the presence of different species East and West of the Cascade mountains because of different habitats explains much of the diversity. Anyone looking for butterfly identification help can press the green butterfly button for more information.

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows

picture of a Becker's White butterfly, part of the Washington butterflies series
Pieridae is the formal name of the family that consists of the butterflies with white wings and yellow wings. Most states have more of the yellow butterfly species. Washington butterflies don’t follow that pattern. The presence of orangetips and marbles provides them with a nice diversity.

The picture shows a Becker’s White butterfly. Here’s a list of the rest of the white butterflies and yellow butterflies documented in the state.

Pacific Orangetip
Stella Orangetip
Large Marble
Desert Marble
Pine White
Margined White
Cabbage White
Becker’s White
Checkered White
Western White
Spring White
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Western Sulphur
Queen Alexandra’s Sulphur
Labrador Sulphur
Pink-edged Sulphur
Dainty Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers

picture of a a male purplish copper butterfly
Washington butterflies also move a bit away from the average state butterfly population with a balanced mixture of blues, hairstreaks and coppers. Western states provide habitat for most of the copper butterflies. Blue butterfly and hairstreak butterfly species are fairly similar to the species of surrounding states. The picture shows a male Purplish Copper Butterfly.
Western Pygmy-Blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Western Tailed-Blue
Northern Azure
Echo Azure
Arrowhead Blue
Silvery Blue
Western Square-dotted Blue
Pacific Dotted-Blue
Rocky Mountain Dotted-Blue
Reakirt’s Blue
Northern Blue
Anna’s Blue
Melissa Blue
Greenish Blue
Boisduval’s Blue
Acmon Blue
Lupine Blue
Arctic Blue
Columbian Blue
Golden Hairstreak
Western Green Hairstreak
Coastal Green Hairstreak
Sheridan’s Green Hairstreak
Nelson’s Hairstreak
Barry’s Hairstreak
Juniper Hairstreak
Thicket Hairstreak
Johnson’s Hairstreak
Brown Elfin
Moss’ Elfin
Hoary Elfin
Western Pine Elfin
Coral Hairstreak
California Hairstreak
Sylvan Hairstreak
Hedgerow Hairstreak
Behr’s Hairstreak
Sooty Hairstreak
Sagebrush Sooty Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
Lustrous Copper
Edith’s Copper
Ruddy Copper
Blue Copper
Purplish Copper
Lilac-bordered Copper
Mariposa Copper

Brush Footed Butterflies

picture of a Great Spangled Fritillary
Washington mountains provide the proper habitat for the multiple fritillary species. The picture shows a Great Spangled Fritllary.
Brush footed
Variegated Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Coronis Fritillary
Zerene Fritillary
Callippe Fritillary
Great Basin Fritillary
Atlantis Fritillary
Northwestern Fritillary
Hydaspe Fritillary
Mormon Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Pacific Fritillary
Freija Fritillary
Astarte Fritillary
Arctic Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple
White Admiral
Lorquin’s Admiral
California Sister
Hoffmann’s Checkerspot
Sagebrush Checkerspot
Northern Checkerspot
Pale Crescent
Mylitta Crescent
Northern Crescent
Field Crescent
Brush footed
Edith’s Checkerspot
Chalcedon Checkerspot
Anicia Checkerspot
Colon Checkerspot
Common Buckeye
Satyr Comma
Green Comma
Hoary Comma
Oreas Comma
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell
Compton Tortoiseshell
Mourning Cloak
California Tortoiseshell
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
West Coast Lady
American Lady
Common Ringlet
Vidler’s Alpine
Common Alpine
Melissa Arctic
Chryxus Arctic
Great Arctic
Common Wood-Nymph
Great Basin Wood-Nymph
Small Wood-Nymph

Washington Butterflies: Swallowtails

picture of a group of Canadian Tiger Swallowtail butterflies puddling
The northern climate makes for a hospitable Parnassians environment. The presence of two species translates into Washington hosting a nice diversity of butterflies in the Swallowtail family.
  • Clodius Parnassian
  • Rocky Mountain Parnassian
  • Old World Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Anise Swallowtail
  • Indra Swallowtail
  • Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
  • Western Tiger Swallowtail
  • Pale Swallowtail
  • Two-tailed Swallowtail

Butterflies: Metalmarks

picture of a Mormon metalmark
Like the vast majority of states, the metalmark population is limited in Washington. The picture shows the Mormon Metalmark.
  • Mormon Metalmark