Louisiana Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

picture of a Julia Heliconia female butterfly, part of the Louisiana butterflies series

Thanks for visiting Louisiana butterflies.

The state’s approximately one hundred and fifty butterfly species puts it in the middle of the state butterfly diversity spectrum. Large areas with grassy coverings make it especially fertile ground for Skipper butterflies, whose larvae depend mostly on native grasses.

As a Gulf Coast state, most of the species are similar to neighboring state lists. What makes Louisiana butterflies species is that they show up everywhere in the state.

Take the New Orleans for example. Visitors need not stray too far to see and photograph these winged creatures. City Park, an outdoor hotspot for relaxing in the down town area has a Butterfly Walk, with native flowers planted to insure that this outside butterfly garden exceeds the expectations of residents and visitors alike.

Not to be outdone, the Audubon Butterfly Garden very close to Lafayette Park, hosts a year round tropical butterfly display along with a whole bunch of other insects.

This introduction to Louisiana butterflies provides a list of the native species, divided into families. Almost by default it also helps identify butterflies by wing color because color is one of the defining family characteristics.

Space limitations mean that only a few butterfly pictures can be presented. Please press the green butterflies button for additional butterfly pictures and identification help.

The picture at the top of the page shows a Julia Heliconian, or a longwing butterfly in the fritillary genera. Louisiana tourists have the opportunity to see this and another few subtropical species.

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows

picture of an Orange Sulphur
Louisiana hosts a large number of butterflies with yellow wings that belong to the family Pieridae. The picture shows an Orange sulphur, a very common species.

picture of a Great Southern White butterfly
Only a handful of white butterflies have been documented in the state. EVeryone knows the cabbage white. It’s a European import that is found in every neighborhood that has a back yard garden.

The larvae consume leaves in the cabbage family. They are very common back yard vegetables.

The picture shows a Great Southern White. Because it is a southern species visitors from the north can snap a quick picture and add it to their life list. Look for the blue tips of the antenna as a good field identification clue.

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

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers

picture of a Cassius Blue butterfly
No Metalmarks are recorded in Louisiana. The blue butterflies are plentiful wherever on travels. The picture shows a Cassius Blue. It’s a good find for visitors from the West or North because it’s primarily a southern specialty.

picture of a Mallow Scrub Hairstreak
Hairstreaks dominate the Louisiana Gossamer Wing category in the state. The picture shows the very common Mallow Scrub Hairstreak.

Cassius Blue
Marine Blue
Western Pygmy-Blue
Eastern Pygmy-Blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Summer Azure
Ceraunus Blue
Reakirt’s Blue
Great Purple Hairstreak
Juniper Hairstreak
Frosted Elfin
Henry’s Elfin
Eastern Pine Elfin
Oak Hairstreak
Northern’ Southern Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
King’s Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Red-banded Hairstreak
Dusky-blue Groundstreak
Gray Hairstreak
Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak
White-M Hairstreak

Louisiana Butterflies: Brush Footed Typical Garden Butterflies

picture of a Southern Pearly Eye
As a Gulf Coast state with some sub-tropical weather, Louisiana does attract some sub-tropical species such as the Heliconian. Otherwise, many of the same species, such as the milkweed species better known as the Monarchs and Queens can be found in the state, just as they are found in other eastern states.

The picture at the top of this section shows a Southern Pearly Eye, one of the Wood Nymph species that call the state home.

Brush footed
picture of an American Snout butterfly
American Snout

picture of a White Peacock butterfly
White Peacock

picture of a Mourning Cloak butterfly
Mourning Cloak

picture of a Pearl Crescent butterfly
Pearl Crescent

picture of a Texas Crescent butterfly
Texas Crescent

picture of a side view of a Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly
Great Spangled Fritillary

picture of a top view of a Gulf Fritillary butterfly
Gulf Fritillary

picture of a Silver Bordered Fritillary butterfly
Silver Bordered Fritillary

picture of a Monarch butterfly, top view
Monarch Butterfly

picture of a side view of a Queen butterfly, top view
Queen Butterfly

Brush footed
picture of a Common Buckeye butterfly
Common Buckeye

picture of a Red Admiral butterfly
Red Admiral

picture of an American Lady butterfly, side view
American Lady

picture of a top view of a Painted Lady butterfly
Painted Lady (top view)

picture of a Viceroy butterfly

picture of a Red-spotted Purple butterfly
Red-spotted Purple

picture of a side view of a Hackberry Emperor butterfly
Hackberry Emperor

picture of a Tawny Emperor butterfly
Tawny Emperor

picture of an Eastern Comma butterfly
Eastern Comma

picture of an Question Mark butterfly
Question Mark

Many of the species in the next set of pictures are commonly seen in residential areas and gardens around the larger cities such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Note the large percentage with orange color in the wings. So many species with similar color wings can make for difficult identification.

The list below rounds out the brush-footed butterfly species in the state.

Brush footed
Zebra Heliconian
Variegated Fritillary
Diana Fritillary
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Common Mestra
Gorgone Checkerspot
Bordered Patch
Phaon Crescent
Brush footed
Goatweed Leafwing
Creole Pearly-eye
Appalachian Brown
Gemmed Satyr
Georgia Satyr
Little Wood-Satyr
Carolina Satyr
Common Wood-Nymph

Butterflies: Swallowtails

picture of a pair of Pipevine SwaSpicebush Swallowtails mating
For a southern state, Louisiana hosts a relatively small number of swallowtail species. They are all very common species in neighboring states.

The picture shows a pair of Spicebush Swallowtails. They are one of the four species with dark wings.

Identifying the four species can be tricky. Take a top of the wings view and a side of the wings view for the best field identification clues.

If you are looking at the Spicebush Swallowtail from a top of the wings view, there are light blue/white marks around the edges. If you are looking at it from a side view of the wings take a look at the orange spots. There are two rows. The abdomen also has dots on it.

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

Butterflies: Metalmarks

The Little Metalmark is the state’s only species.