Tag Archive | "butterflies"

Common North American Butterflies

North America has a wide variety of butterfly species. There are several hundred known species of butterfly that live in North America. We’re going to take a look at a few of the most common North American butterflies.

The monarch butterfly is one of the most well-known butterfly species. It’s common all around the United States and the southern part of Canada. Monarch caterpillars eat exclusively milkweed plants.

Because milkweed contains toxins, monarch larva and butterflies are not eaten by predators. They live mostly in open, sunny places. They especially love meadows that are full of weeds. They live on various types of milkweed, including common milkweed, scarlet milkweed, and dogbane.

Adult monarch butterflies feed off the nectar of beggarticks, coneflowers, black-eyed Susan, goldenrod, New England aster, and several types of thistle. The Eastern tiger swallowtail is certainly one of the most easily recognizable butterflies in the U.S.

It is often found in forests and streams, but may also be found around flowering bushes in city gardens. It loves flowers with a lot of nectar. Males are yellow with black decoration, and females are either yellow or black.

They generally breed on broadleaf trees like cottonwood, cherry, birch, poplar, and willow. Their favorite nectar flowers are typically phlox and milkweed. The painted lady butterfly typically lays its eggs on thistle or asters.

It is one of the most widespread butterfly species in the word, and can be found all over Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. They seem to be especially attracted to feeding on goldenrod. They also tend to be attracted to butterfly bushes.

The red-spotted purple butterfly is a ground-dweller. They fly low, and light on low-lying branches or on the ground. They look similar to a poisonous butterfly known as the pipevine swallowtail.

They breed on willows, poplars, cherry trees, apples, hawthorns, and aspens. They feed on thistles, lilac, azaleas, phlox, petunias, lupines, butterfly bush, and bergamot, among others. The pipevine swallowtail is a beautiful butterfly with iridescent blue on the wings.

They lay eggs on many different types of trees, similar to the red-spotted purple. They also eat the same types of nectar. The cabbage white butterfly is certainly extremely common. It’s a white butterfly with few markings, and is rather small in size. It lays eggs on radishes, cabbage, broccoli, and nasturtiums.

Mourning cloak butterflies can survive throughout the winter in many parts of the world. It’s native to North America and Eurasia. Their wings are very dark red, with a yellowish border around the wings.

They also have a dark band with brighter blue spots on the wings. Their caterpillars are raised on willows, aspens, cottonwoods, elms, and paper birch trees. They are especially common on willows and elms.

Adult butterflies usually live on sap and rotting fruit, but may occasionally feed on flower nectar. If you’d like to attract certain species of butterfly, you’ll need to provide them with the food the adults need, as well as a good place to lay their eggs.

Posted in Gardening TipsComments (0)

An Introduction to Butterfly Gardening


In order to attract butterflies to your garden, you have to make your yard more inviting to them. You’ll need to provide plants that the caterpillars can use, food for the adult butterflies, and a good place for the butterflies to breed.

Most varieties of butterflies will also need some sort of shelter from wind. Although they really like open areas with a lot of sun, you’ll probably need to provide some sort of windbreak to protect them from high winds that can disturb them.

Butterflies often congregate by the edges of mud puddles. You’ve probably seen this before. It isn’t known exactly why butterflies enjoy mud puddles so much, but it’s thought that it may be certain minerals that are present in the muddy water. If you want to attract a lot of butterflies, you might consider keeping some damp areas in your garden.

Female butterflies need plants that can be eaten by the caterpillars that hatch from their eggs. Black swallowtails prefer dill and parsley, for example. Monarch butterflies typically only lay their eggs on milkweed. Female butterflies spend a lot of time searching for these plants to lay their eggs on.

Adult butterflies eat nectars from various flowers. Flowers that contain a lot of nectar are especially attractive to butterflies. These flowers are usually brightly colored and sweetly scented. Some species of butterflies feed on the honeydew produced by aphids. Some even feed on plant spa, bird feces, or rotting fruit!

Your butterfly garden should contain at least one big patch of flowers that will attract butterflies. You may want to get flowers that bloom in sequence, because this will keep butterflies visiting your garden more often.

You should bear in mind that many flowers that are preferred by butterflies are considered weeds. For example, dandelion is very attractive to several types of butterflies. Thistle is another weed that many types of butterflies enjoy.

If you have an herb garden or vegetable garden, you may notice some butterflies congregating on some of your plants there. The European cabbage butterfly enjoys broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables. The black swallowtail often frequents herbs such as dill and parsley.

Don’t use insecticides in your garden unless absolutely necessary, because they can kill caterpillars. Some insecticides can also kill the adult butterflies if they light on plants that have been treated, or if they drink nectar that was polluted by poison.

Some flowers you should plant if you like to attract butterflies include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, herbs like parsley and dill, and many types of flowers. Some great flowers for butterfly gardens include asters, lilacs, verbena, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers, thistles, butterfly bush, bee balm, and sweet pea.

Making your garden hospitable for butterflies doesn’t take a lot of extra work. Simply keeping a small wet area for them and planting a few plants that they’ll enjoy is often enough to attract a number of butterflies.

Posted in Featured, Gardening TipsComments (0)