Identifying common butterflies is easier with photographs or drawings. I put together this photo gallery of butterflies. I took just about every photo either in my garden or around the Philadelphia area. As I take more butterfly photos, I will add to the gallery.
Some of the butterflies have photos of larva and adult life stages. I have included both the local common names and scientific names of each butterfly. I couldn’t name a couple of the moths, I couldn’t find their names but if you know their names feel free to contact me and I’ll add their correct name.
Identifying Common Butterflies of the Philadelphia Area and Beyond
Each region of the North American continent supports butterflies. Some places have many species of butterflies other have few. The further north you go, the few species there are. The Philadelphia area has 115 species of butterflies. I have only spotted a tiny fraction of the available species. A checklist of the 115 species is available at Butterfly and Moths.org checklist. You can choose your region and download a pdf checklist of the butterflies for your area. the regions covered include the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Identifying Butterflies and Why Its Become So Popular
Birders head out in early spring to identify migrating birds. But once the birds begin to nest, birders stop hiking through woods and wetlands. They don’t want to disturb the nesting birds. They want nesting birds to be successful at raising their young, so they stay away from nesting areas.
But butterflies don’t need to be let alone to raise young because they don’t raise their young. The female butterfly lays her eggs and off she goes. During the heat of summer, butterflies are abundant and can be spotted and observed without concern of disturbing nesting. And this is why many birders turn to identifying and observing butterflies during the summer months. It puts to use those expensive binoculars birders have.
Click on each image to see the name of the butterfly.