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Butterflies (Papilionoidea) Entomology Larval Host Plants

Top 10 Butterflies of North America (and Their Larval Host Plants)

The following is a list of ten notable North American butterflies and their larval host plants:

10. Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

Larval Host Plant: Various species of nettles (Urtica spp.) and elms (Ulmus spp.)

Question Mark Butterfly
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis).

9. American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Larval Host Plant: Various species of plants from the Asteraceae family, including pearly everlasting and ironweed.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis).

8. Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Larval Host Plant: Pipevine (Aristolochia spp.)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor).
Dutchman’s Pipevine is larval host to the Pipevine Swallowtail.

7. Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

Larval Host Plant: Various deciduous trees, including willow, elm, poplar, and birch

Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa).

6. Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

Larval Host Plant: Passionflower vine (Passiflora spp.)

5. Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

Larval Host Plant: Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus).

4. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Larval Host Plant: Various species of thistles (Cirsium spp.) and other plants from the Asteraceae family

3. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Larval Host Plant: Various species of trees in the rose family (Rosaceae), such as black cherry, tulip tree, and sweet bay magnolia

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus).

2. Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Larval Host Plant: Parsley family (Apiaceae), including dill, parsley, fennel, and carrot

Female Eastern Black Swallowtail on clover

1. Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Larval Host Plant: Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)

Please note that there are many more butterfly species in North America, and this list represents just a selection of notable ones and their associated larval host plants.

By incorporating these larval host plants in our yards, gardens, and urban areas, we can expect to see an increase in these top 10 North American butterflies (and their larval host plants)… one day at a time!

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