Georgia Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

Thanks for visiting Georgia butterflies. The presence of a mountain region in the north makes Georgia a more diverse butterfly state than some neighboring Gulf Coast states such as Mississippi and Louisiana.

Identifying Georgia butterflies can be as easy as taking a video or pictures that provide a good look at the color and pattern on the top of the wings and a side view of the wings. The video at the top of the page shows the Queen butterfly.

This introduction to Georgia butterfly identification divides the population by families because the physical features of the different butterfly families such as size, wing color and wing pattern provide the best initial field identification clues.

Visitors interested in additional butterfly videos, pictures and ID tips can press the green butterfly button for more information.

Brush-footed Butterflies

picture of an Eastern Comma butterfly
Many of the brush-footed butterflies in Georgia are similar to the general East Coast population. A quick look down the list, starting with American Snouts, Monarch and Queens reminds us that butterfly gardens in Eastern North America tend to attract similar species. The picture shows an Eastern Comma, and as the name implies, it’s a very common East Coast butterfly species. The ragged wing shape serves as a good ID clue.

A side view of Georgia’s two common species would show the traditional comma mark. The pattern on the top of the wings serves as the best ID clue.

picture of a Snout butterfly, Georgia butterflies
Sometimes a standout physical feature is all one needs for butterfly identification. The picture of the Snout shows an extended nose, differentiating it from all other Georgia brush-footed butterflies.

picture of a Red admiral butterfly, Georgia butterflies
A top view of the wing color and patterns is also sufficient for identifying the Red admiral. Less well know is the fact that along with the Painted lady and Monarch butterflies, it has an extended range.

picture of a Southern Pearly Eye butterfly
Georgia does add some spice to the brush-footed list when you get to the Wood Nymphs and Satyrs at the bottom. They are the group of butterflies with wing colors in shades of brown, often accompanied by eye spots. The picture shows a Southern Pearly Eye.

Small size characterizes the five crescent species. Wing color and pattern provide good identification clues.

American Snout
Gulf Fritillary
Zebra Heliconian
Variegated Fritillary
Diana Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Aphrodite Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor
Silvery Checkerspot
Gorgone Checkerspot
Phaon Crescent
Pearl Crescent
Mimic Crescent
Tawny Crescent
Texan Crescent
Baltimore Checkerspot
Common Buckeye
White Peacock
Question Mark
Eastern Comma
Green Comma
Mourning Cloak
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
American Lady
Goatweed Leafwing
Southern Pearly-eye
Northern Pearly-eye
Creole Pearly-eye
Appalachian Brown
Gemmed Satyr
Georgia Satyr
Helicta Satyr
Little Wood-Satyr
Viola’s Wood-Satyr
Carolina Satyr
Common Wood-Nymph

Georgia Butterflies: Whites and Yellows

picture of a Yellow Angled Sulphur butterfly
Pieridae is the formal name of the family that consists of the butterflies with white wings and yellow wings. The picture shows a Yellow Angled-Sulphur.

Along with the Satria Sulphur, it might be one of the least common of the state’s yellow butterflies. Both are subtropical species that occasionally stray into the state.

picture of a Cloudless Sulphur butterfly, Georgia butterflies
The minimal pattern on the side of the wing of the Cloudless sulphur is usually good for field identification of the male. A general rule of thumb is that female Cloudless sulphurs have a bit more markings on a side view.

In addition to wing color and pattern the size of the yellow butterfly provides a clue to it’s identification. Little yellows and Dainty sulphurs, as the name implies, are small species.

picture of a Great Southern White butterfly, Georgia butterflies
Falcate Orangetips and West Virginia Whites are the mountain species. Great Southern Whites are the southern species.

The picture shows a Great Southern White. The presence of blue tips on the antenna is the best field identification clue.

Falcate Orangetip
West Virginia White
Cabbage White
Checkered White
Great Southern White
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Southern Dogface
Yellow Angled-Sulphur
Cloudless Sulphur
Orange-barred Sulphur
Statira Sulphur
Barred Yellow
Mexican Yellow
Little Yellow
Sleepy Orange
Dainty Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers

picture of a spring azure
Butterfly enthusiast might want to take note of the five different Azure species. Typically states have a spring and summer version. They, along with the Tailed-blues have the widest distribution in the state. Look for chevrons on the side of the wings to be able to initially identify any of the five Azure species. It’s also important to check local butterfly lists to determine which species are present in the area.

picture of a White M Hairstreak
Hairstreak butterflies are almost always regionally distributed. The Picture shows a White M Hairstreak. Look for them where ever Oak trees grow in the state. They are the host plants for the caterpillars.

Cassius Blue
Marine Blue
Eastern Pygmy-Blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Summer Azure
Dusky Azure
Appalachian Azure
Holly Azure
Silvery Blue
Ceraunus Blue
Great Purple Hairstreak
Hessel’s Hairstreak
Juniper Hairstreak
Brown Elfin
Frosted Elfin
Henry’s Elfin
Eastern Pine Elfin
Oak Hairstreak
Coral Hairstreak
Hickory Hairstreak
Edwards’ Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
King’s Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Red-banded Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
White-M Hairstreak
Early Hairstreak
American Copper

Georgia Butterflies: Swallowtails

picture of the dark version of the female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, the official state butterfly of Georgia and part of the Georgia butterflies collection
Swallowtail butterflies are abundant in the south. Georgia hosts nine species with top billing going to the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, the state butterfly. It has both a black form and a yellow form. They are evenly distributed throughout the state.

picture of a Palamedes Swallowtail
Swallowtail butterfly identification can somewhat be reduced to wing color. The Pipevine, Black, Spicebush and pictured Palemedes swallowtails have dark color wings. Black and white patterns describe Zebra Swallowtails. Large size and yellow wings describe the Giant swallowtail. while the In addition to the state butterfly, eight other species are celebrated by the residents. Some species such as the Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail are mountain species.

  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Polydamas Swallowtail
  • Zebra Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Palamedes Swallowtail
  • Giant Swallowtail

Butterflies: Metalmarks

Georgia has one metalmark, the Little Metalmark.