West Virginia Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

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picture of a Monarch Butterfly the state butterfly of West Virginia

Welcome to West Virginia butterflies. The Mountain State documents about 135 butterfly species and about 2,000 moth species. The Monarch butterfly pictured at the top of the page is the official state butterfly.

Gratography members can easily contribute to the West Virginia butterflies collection by registering today.

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows

picture of an Orange Sulphur butterfly
Orange Sulphurs are a very common species across the United States. Identifying them can be difficult. Usually the newly hatched species have orange on the upper wing. However, they do interbreed with Clouded Sulphurs, so that might not always be the case. Additionally, some females have a white form.

West Virginia is hoe to both the Clouded and Orange Sulphur, along with a nice diversity of other yellow winged butterflies.

Falcate Orangetip
Olympia Marble
West Virginia White
Cabbage White
Checkered White
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Pink-edged Sulphur
Cloudless Sulphur
Little Yellow
Sleepy Orange
Dainty Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers

picture of a White Hairstreak
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Summer Azure
Dusky Azure
Appalachian Azure
Silvery Blue
Great Purple Hairstreak
Juniper Hairstreak
Brown Elfin
Hoary Elfin
Frosted Elfin
Henry’s Elfin
Eastern Pine Elfin
Oak Hairstreak
Coral Hairstreak
Hickory Hairstreak
Edwards’ Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Red-banded Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
White-M Hairstreak
Early Hairstreak
American Copper
Bronze Copper
Bog Copper

Brush Footed Butterflies

picture of a Mourning Cloak buterfly
Many people think of brush footed butterflies as orange winged insects that fly around gardens and flowers. That’s partially accurate.

The Mourning Cloak butterfly in the picture is an exception to that general rule. It does fly around residential areas, however those areas need to have trees such as willows, cottonwoods and elms because they are the host plants for the caterpillars.

Brush footed
American Snout
Gulf Fritillary
Variegated Fritillary
Diana Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Aphrodite Fritillary
Regal Fritillary
Atlantis Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple
arthemis White Admiral
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor
Silvery Checkerspot
Gorgone Checkerspot
Harris’ Checkerspot
Pearl Crescent
Northern Crescent
Tawny Crescent
Brush footed
Baltimore Checkerspot
Common Buckeye
Question Mark
Eastern Comma
Green Comma
Gray Comma
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell
Compton Tortoiseshell
Mourning Cloak
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
American Lady
Northern Pearly-eye
Appalachian Brown
Common Ringlet
Gemmed Satyr
Little Wood-Satyr
Carolina Satyr
Common Wood-Nymph

West Virginia Butterflies: Swallowtails

picture of a Palmedes Swallowtail butterfly: credit bill chitty flickr
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Zebra Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
  • Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Palamedes Swallowtail
  • Giant Swallowtail

Butterflies: Metalmarks

A final note: West Virginia hosts one metalmark species, the Northern 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.