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Butterflies of North America

Fewer than 800 of the known 12,000 lepidopterans found across the United States and Canada are actually Butterflies - the rest being recognized as moths.

Butterflies differ from moths in several ways: their wings will typically rest horizontally (flat) and the forewings are not hooked. The wings are also covered with overlapping scale-liked hairs which, when viewed from afar, present the vibrant patterns we commonly associate with butterflies. These patterns serve multiple purposes: protection from predators, courtship and body temperature regulation. There are two pairs of wings called the forewing and the hindwing due to their relative positioning along the thorax. Their antennae are 'clubbed' at their tips and their habit is generally centered around day time flying, passing from flower-to-flower in search of food. They have a tongue-liked appendage called a 'proboscis' which is rolled up when not in use and rolls out when it comes time to feed, allowing the butterfly to reach deeply into a flower blossom.

There are a total of (33) Butterflies of North America in the ButterflyIdentification.org database. Consider contributing an image at the email address showcased at the bottom of this page.

User Tip
Click on the red "X" icons in the panels below to remove bugs that do not match your specimen. Note that each panel is numbered for your reference.