Four Common Butterflies


viceroy butterfly


Viceroy butterfly

monarch butterfly on zinnia flower


Monarch butterfly

The viceroy and the monarch benefit from the fact that they look so much alike. Both taste bad, so after a predator tastes one of them, it is likely to leave both of them alone! Can you spot some differences between the two species’ wing patterns?

Tailed Blue

tailed blue butterfly


Tailed blue butterfly

Look for these little blue butterflies in fields of clover. They don’t have much of a tail—just tiny threads trailing from their hind wings.

Mourning Cloak

mourning cloak butterfly


Mourning cloak butterfly

This dark butterfly creates a splash of color when sun shines on the lacy yellow edges of its wings. It usually lives in and near woods and along streams. It can live for nearly a year as an adult, spending the winter hiding under loose bark or in a woodpile.

Cloudless Sulphur

cloudless sulphur butterfly

By Andrew C (Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cloudless sulphur butterfly

In summer, this is one of the many yellow butterflies called sulphurs that flock to fields where their host plants, clover and alfalfa, grow. Male sulphurs have sweet-smelling wings. Watch for them around mud puddles, where they sip up mineral-rich moisture.

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