North American Butterflies You Might Spot in Your Backyard

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus): Known for its orange and black wings with white spots, the monarch is famous for its long-distance migrations and its dependence on milkweed plants as a larval food source.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus): This large butterfly has yellow wings with black stripes and blue or orange spots near its tail. It's commonly found in gardens and woodlands across the eastern United States.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes): With its black wings accented by yellow spots and markings, the black swallowtail is often found in gardens and fields, where its caterpillars feed on plants like parsley, dill, and fennel.

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui): Recognizable by its orange and black wings with white spots, the painted lady is one of the most widespread butterfly species, found in habitats ranging from meadows to urban areas.

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae): This small white butterfly has wings with faint black spots and is commonly found in gardens and fields. Its caterpillars feed on plants in the cabbage family, including cabbage, broccoli, and mustard.

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae): With its bright orange wings marked by black spots, the Gulf fritillary is a common sight in gardens across the southern United States. Its caterpillars feed on passionflower vines.

Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes): This butterfly has wings with a striking pattern of black and yellow markings, resembling the coloration of a tiger. It's commonly found in gardens and fields throughout eastern North America.

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