Thanks for visiting Oklahoma butterflies, and the state sure does have a large diversity of butterflies, around the one hundred and eighty species mark.
The high diversity can be attributed to a spillover of species that are primarily Southwest or Midwest. Maintaining high butterfly diversity in the state is as easy as planting a butterfly garden.
This introduction to Oklahoma butterflies provides a list of the species in the state arranged according to families. Space limitations means only a few butterfly pictures can be included. Please press the green Butterflies button for more butterfly pictures and information on individual species and families.
Before moving to the species list a brief note on butterfly gardens. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife suggests the following plants to attract butterflies at a basic butterfly garden.
- Trumpet Honeysuckle: Spring Azure
- Mikweed: Monarch, Queen
- Indian paintbrush: Buckeye, Fulvia Checkerspot
- Sweet Clover: Alfalfa and Orange Sulphers, Dogface butterfly; Reakirt’s and Eastern-tailed blues; Gray Hirstreak; Spring Azure
- Lantana/Thistle: Painted Lady, American Painted Lady
- Parsley/Dill/Carrot: Eastern Black Swallowtail
- Sweet Alyssum: Checkered and Cabbage Whites/LI>
- Sunflower: Gorgone and Silvery Crescents, Painted Lady, American Painted Lady
- Lamb’s Quarters: Painted Lady, Common and Scalloped Sootywings, Western Pygmy Blue
- Violet: Variegated and Great-Spangled Fritillaries
- American Elm: Question Mark, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, Comma
- Passion Flower: Gulf and Varigated Fritillaries
- Hackberry/Sugarberry: Snout and Hackberry, Tawny Emperor, Mourning Cloak, Question Mark
- American Plum: Coral and Striped Hairstreaks, Spring Azure, Tiger Swallowtail
- Rose of Sharon: Gray Hairstreak
- Hollies: Henry’s Elfin
- Apple: Viceroy, Red-spotted Purple, Gray Hairstreak, Spring Azure
Butterflies: Whites and Yellows
Pieridae is the formal name of the family that consists of the butterflies with white wings and yellow wings. Most states have more of the yellow butterfly species. The picture shows a Florida White butterfly. Here’s a list of the rest of the white butterflies and yellow butterflies documented in the state.
Large Orange Sulphur
Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers
Great Purple Hairstreak
Olive’ Juniper Hairstreak
Eastern Pine Elfin
Northern’ Southern Hairstreak
Brush Footed Butterflies
Multiple fritillary, checkerspot, crescent and wood nymph species insures nice diversity for Oklahoma butterflies in the brush foot category. Visitors can keep that in mind when looking for butterflies. Don’t pass up a Crescent butterfly, for example, if a picture is already in the camera. A different species could very well be sitting on that flower outside the hotel.
Great Spangled Fritillary
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
West Coast Lady
Oklahoma Butterflies: Swallowtails
Nine swallowtails make the Oklahoma butterflies list. Three of them the Toas, Two-tailed and Palamedes have very limited ranges, two to four counties.
The pictures shows a black Swallowtail, Oklahoma’s official butterfly. It’s the most widespread of the swallowtails, found almost statewide.
- Pipevine Swallowtail
- Zebra Swallowtail
- Black Swallowtail
- Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
- Two-tailed Swallowtail
- Spicebush Swallowtail
- Palamedes Swallowtail
- Thoas Swallowtail
- Giant Swallowtail
- Little Metalmark
- Northern Metalmark
- Swamp Metalmark