Butterflies Most Likely to be Seen In Tidewater, va and Their Host Plants

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 Butterflies Most Likely to be Seen In Tidewater, VA

and Their Host Plants


Scientific Name

Common Name

Host Plant

Asterocampa celtis

Hackberry Butterfly

sugarberry, hackberry

Asterocampa clyton

Tawny Emperor

sugarberry, hackberry

Atalopedes campestris


grasses - bermuda

Atlides halesus

Great Purple Hairstreak


Battus philenor

Pipevine Swallowtail


Calycopis cecrops

Red Banded Hairstreak

fallen leaves - sumacs, wax myrtle, oak

Cercyonis pegala

Common (Lg.) Wood Nymph

purple top, other grasses

Celastrina ladon argiolus

Spring Azure

flowering parts — dogwood, wild cherry

Colias eurytheme

Orange Sulphur

legumes, clover, alfalfa

Colias philodice

Common (Clouded) Sulphur

legumes, clover, alfalfa, vetch, lupine

Danaus plexippus



Endoia portlandia

Southern Pearly Eye

giant cane, switch cane

Endoia creola

Creola Pearly Eye

switch cane

Epargyreus clarus

Silver Spotted Skipper

black locust, wisteria, legumes

Erynnis horatius

Horace’s Dusky Wing


Euptoieta claudia

Variegated Fritillary

violet, maypop, passionflower, pansies, plantain

Eurema nicippe

Sleepy Orange


Eurytides marcellus

Zebra Swallowtail


Everes comyntas

Eastern Tailed Blue

variety of herbaceous legumes

Hylephila phyleus

Fiery Skipper

weedy grasses — crabgrass, bermuda

Junonia coenia


snapdragon, toadflax, plantain, verbena

Lerema accius

Clouded Skipper


Libytheana bachmanii

Snout Butterfly

hackberry, sugarberry

Limenitis archippus


willow, poplar, aspen, apple, cherry, plum

Limenitis astyanax

Red Spotted Purple

wild cherry, poplar, aspen, black oak

Lycaena phlaeas

American Copper

sheep sorrel

Megisto cymela

Little Wood Satyr


Mitoura gryneus

Olive Hairstreak

red cedar and other junipers

Nymphalis antiopa

Mourning Cloak

willow, birches, cottonwood, elm, hackberry

Papilio glaucus

Tiger Swallowtail

poplar, wild cherry, sweet bay, tulip, lilac

Papilio palamedes

Palamedes Swallowtail

red bay

Papilio polyxenes asterius

Black Swallowtail

parsley, fennel, rue, dill, carrot family

Papilio troilus

Spicebush Swallowtail

spicebush, sassafras, various bays

Phoebis sennae

Cloudless Giant Sulphur

cassia, clover, other legumes

Pholisora catullus

Common Sooty Wing

lamb’s quarter, amaranthus, cockscomb

Phyciodes tharos

Pearly Crescent


Pieris rapae

European Cabbage White

cabbage, mustard family, nasturtium, cleome

Poanes viator

Broadwing Skipper

lamb’s quarter, amaranthus, cockscomb

Poanes zabulon

Zabulon Skipper


Polygonia comma

Comma/Hop Merchant

nettle, hops, elm, hackberry

Polygonia interrogationis

Question Mark

nettle, hops, elm, hackberry

Pyrgus communis

Checkered Skipper

mallow, hollyhock

Staphylus hayhurstii

Scalloped Sooty Wing

Lamb’s quarter

Strymon melinus

Gray Hairstreak

pea and mallow families

Urbanus proteus

Long-Tailed Skipper

beans and other legumes, crucifers, canna lilies

Vanessa atlanta

Red Admiral

nettles, false nettle, hops

Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady

thistle, mallow, legumes

Vanessa virginiensis

American Painted Lady

everlastings, pussy toes, daisy family


  This list was prepared by members of The Butterfly Society of Virginia. For membership information, For membership information, contact Betty Hazen at A.E.HAZEN@worldnet.att.net  or by phone at (757) 456-0440. The Butterfly Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to education, conservation, gardening (both private and public) and volunteering for the benefit of the butterfly and moth populations of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Revised July 2001

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