30 Butterfly Species in Nevada

You are about to embark on a journey exploring the diverse butterfly species found in Nevada. This article will introduce you to 30 fascinating species, each with its unique attributes and habitats.

Prepare to be captivated by the beauty and variety of these butterflies in the Silver State.

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

The Gulf Fritillary is a dazzling butterfly species that you’ll often spot in Nevada.

gulf fritillary

  • Habitat: They thrive in tropical to subtropical environments. Their abundance in Nevada might seem odd but they are migratory butterflies spreading beyond traditional boundaries.
  • Appearance: You’ll recognize them by their bright orange wings dotted with black spots. Practically, impossible to miss!
  • Size: These butterflies span 2.4-3.7 inches (approximately 6-9.5cm), a moderate size for their kind.
  • Diet: Nectar from various types of flowers form the linchpin of their diet.
  • Reproduction: Female Gulf Fritillaries lay pale-yellow eggs on host plants. These hatch into caterpillars with bright colors that signal their toxicity.
  • Lifespan: Their life cycle spans a brief period, roughly 3 weeks, from hatching to maturity.
  • Host Plants: Passion vine plants are their preferred laying sites. As caterpillars, they nibble on the leaves, acquiring toxic compounds that deter potential predators.

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

The Monarch Butterfly, scientifically known as Danaus plexippus, is undoubtedly considered one of the most recognizable and well-studied butterfly species on the planet.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

  • Habitat: Monarchs are prevalent in various locations, from gardens to forests.
  • Appearance: These butterflies showcase a stunning orange and black pattern, accented with white spots – an iconic look
  • Size: Adult monarchs span between 3.7 to 4.1 inches (9 to 10.5 centimeters) in wingspan.
  • Diet: Monarchs feed on nectar from a wide variety of flowering plants.
  • Reproduction: Every spring and summer, multiple generations of monarchs are born.
  • Lifespan: Most live only a few weeks, but the generation that hatches in late summer can live up to 7 months.
  • Host Plants: For laying eggs and providing food to the caterpillars, Monarchs primarily rely on milkweed varieties.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Also known as the Eastern Black Swallowtail, the Papilio polyxenes is a common butterfly species.

Black Swallowtail butterfly

  • Habitat: It loves dwelling in open fields, gardens, marshes, and meadows.
  • Appearance: This butterfly is defined by its black wings with white and yellow spots. The female is often darker and has more blue scales.
  • Size: Adults have an average wingspan of 3-4 inches (7.6-10 cm).
  • Diet: As adults, they feed on nectar from numerous flowers. Caterpillars prefer parsley, fennel, and dill.
  • Reproduction: Females lay spherical, pale green eggs on the leaves of host plants.
  • Lifespan: They have a lifespan of about 10-12 days as butterflies.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars favor plants from the carrot family, including parsley and fennel.

Though a joy to observe, watch your gardens; its larvae are more than capable of stripping host plants bare.

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)

The Western Tiger Swallowtail, eminent in Nevada, is a vision of beauty you can’t afford to miss.

Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

  • Habitat: It prefers wooded areas and suburban gardens.
  • Appearance: Watch for its striking yellow color with black stripes and large, black and yellow wings; hence the ‘tiger’ in the name.
  • Size: The wingspan ranges about 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm).
  • Diet: As adults, they sip nectar while the larvae favor leaves of cottonwoods, willows, and aspens.
  • Reproduction: Each females lay a cluster of eggs on host leaves during summer.
  • Lifespan: Typically, they have a lifespan of only about a month.
  • Host Plants: Their caterpillars feed on a variety of plants like willows, aspens and cottonwoods.

Look for these magnificent creatures fluttering in Nevada’s outdoor spaces in late spring and early summer.

California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica)

The California Tortoiseshell is a peculiar species you might encounter in Nevada.

California Tortoiseshell butterfly

Let’s delve into its features:

  • Habitat: Primarily found in forested areas, particularly those with an abundance of the Ceanothus shrub.
  • Appearance: Characterized by its striking orange and black coloration. It has a mottled underside, blending perfectly with tree bark.
  • Size: Moderate size, wingspan can range between 2 to 2.5 inches (5.1 to 6.4 cm).
  • Diet: Adult butterflies feed on tree sap, especially from oaks, and sometimes on rotting fruit.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs in large clusters on the upper side of host plant leaves.
  • Lifespan: Adults can live from a week to a month. The last generation of the year may survive up to 9 months.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars primarily eat leaves of the Ceanothus shrub.

Although short-lived, the California Tortoiseshell leads a fascinating life mainly rooted in the undergrowth of Nevada’s forests.

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

You’ll often find the Great Spangled Fritillary fluttering in meadows and open woodlands across Nevada.

This species displays a stunning bright orange color with black markings and silver spots on its underwing, adding a distinctive feature to its appearance.

Great Spangled Fritillary

Here’s a brief look at its characteristic features:

  • Habitat: Meadows, open woodlands
  • Appearance: Bright orange wings, black markings and silver spots on underwing
  • Size: Wingspan of 2.5 to 3.5 inches, or 6.35 to 8.89 centimeters.
  • Diet: Primarily nectar from flowers such as thistles, milkweed, and ironweed
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs on leaves of violets, their host plant, in late summer
  • Lifespan: Adults live up to two months
  • Host Plants: Violets

This beauty, even though not as common as some other species, offers an appealing sight whenever spotted.

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

The Painted Lady is a common butterfly species you can spot in Nevada.

painted lady butterfly

Let’s learn about this exquisite creature:

  • Habitat: Adapted to various climates, Painted Ladies frequently populate gardens, parks, and open fields.
  • Appearance: With orange uppersides and black markings, these butterflies stand out. Additionally, their undersides hold a complex design of black, brown, and grey.
  • Size: Medium-sized, Painted Ladies usually measure around 2 to 2.9 inches (5 to 7.3 centimeters) in wingspan.
  • Diet: They feed mainly on nectar from numerous plants, whilst the larvae eat thistles.
  • Reproduction: After mating, females lay green eggs individually on host plants.
  • Lifespan: The average lifespan for a Painted Lady is two weeks after reaching adulthood.
  • Host Plants: Larvae favor thistle, mallow, and hollyhock plants for sustenance and growth.

So next time you spot a butterfly in Nevada, take a closer look; it might just be a Painted Lady!

Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

The Viceroy is a fascinating butterfly with a rich set of characteristics.


  • Habitat: Viceroys inhabit wet, open or shrubby areas such as swamps, marshes, and meadows.
  • Appearance: Similar to the Monarch, Viceroys have a dark orange color, black veins, and a black line across their hind wings.
  • Size: Adults range from 2.5 to 3.5 inches (6.35 to 8.89 cm) in wingspan.
  • Diet: The Viceroy primarily feeds on the nectar of flowers, and occasionally on dung or carrion.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs individually on the tips of host plant leaves, from which caterpillars emerge.
  • Lifespan: Viceroys typically live two to four weeks after reaching adulthood.
  • Host Plants: Larva primarily feed on trees in the willow family, such as Cottonwood, Aspen, and Poplar.

Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)

The Lorquin’s Admiral is an easy-to-spot butterfly due to its size and striking features.

Lorquin's Admiral butterfly

  • Habitat: Predominantly found in forested and woodland areas, they are common in Nevada, especially between late spring and fall.
  • Appearance: Boasting velvety black wings with white bands and blue speckles, it’s truly one of a kind.
  • Size: Typically, the wingspan ranges from 2 to 2.8 inches (5 to 7 cm).
  • Diet: This species is notable for its fondness for tree sap, rotting fruits, and nectar from flowers.
  • Reproduction: Interestingly, the female lays single eggs on the tips of host plant leaves.
  • Lifespan: An Admiral can live for two weeks to two months, depaends on the environment and availability of food.
  • Host Plants: Willows, wild cherry, and chokecherry trees are among their favorite selections.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

The Common Buckeye, scientifically referred to as Junonia coenia, is a wonderful sight to behold in Nevada. This butterfly never fails to captivate with its striking appearance.

Common Buckeye butterfly

  • Habitat: You’ll often spot this beauty in open spaces, meadows, roadsides, or even cultivated lands.
  • Appearance: Possessing eye-catching eye-spots on its wings, it boasts a combination of beautiful brown, orange, and blue hues.
  • Size: With a wingspan ranging 1.5 to 2.7 inches (38 to 69 mm), it’s relatively small but sure to grab your attention.
  • Diet: These creatures prefer slurping nectar from various flowers including the aster and chickory.
  • Reproduction: Buckeyes lay green eggs which transform into spiky black caterpillars.
  • Lifespan: From egg to adult, Buckeyes usually live a brief but eventful 3 to 4 months.
  • Host Plants: Buckeye caterpillars love dining on the Snapdragon, Ruellia, and Plantain families.

Take a moment to look for them on your next nature walk, they might be closer than you think.

Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis)

The Hackberry Emperor butterfly is one fascinating species that you can spot in Nevada.

Hackberry Emperor butterfly

  • Habitat: Preferring floodplains and moist woods, they typically settle near hackberry trees.
  • Appearance: It sports a beautiful tawny color with eyespots and white spots accentuating its wings.
  • Size: This butterfly’s wingspan can reach up to 2.5 inches (6.35 cm), not too big, not too small.
  • Diet: They feed on tree sap, dung, carrion, and nectar. Quite a varied diet!
  • Reproduction: Females lay greenish eggs on host plants, creating a new generation each year.
  • Lifespan: The adults live for around two weeks, fleeting but beautiful moments.
  • Host Plants: As their name suggests, Hackberries often use hackberry trees as their host plants.

They add a perfect splash of color to Nevada’s rich biodiversity. Their fleeting life makes every encounter special and memorable.

Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

The Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) is a distinct butterfly species that catches one’s attention with its sheer uniqueness.

Mourning Cloak butterfly

  • Habitat: Predominantly found around tree lines, forested areas, parks, and gardens. They also prefer sunny glades surrounded by deciduous woods.
  • Appearance: Characterised by its deep maroon wings bordered in bright yellow, with a pattern of large cream spots at the edges.
  • Size: Known for its size, ranging between 2.25 to 4 inches (approximately 5.7 to 10.2 centimeters).
  • Diet: As a caterpillar, it feeds on vegetation, while as an adult, it consumes tree sap.
  • Reproduction: This species goes through one brood a year. Females deposit their eggs in large clusters around host plants.
  • Lifespan: One of the longest living butterflies, with an average lifespan of 11 to 12 months.
  • Host Plants: Primarily relies on willow, poplar, and hackberry for egg-laying and as a food source for caterpillars.

Its unique lifestyle and appearance make it an enchanting inhabitant of Nevada’s butterfly kingdom.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

The American Lady Butterfly is a splendid creature found in many parts of Nevada.

American Lady butterfly

  • Habitat: They habitually inhabit open spaces and sunny areas, such as fields, meadows, or gardens.
  • Appearance: American Ladies boast a spectacular orange and black pattern, sprinkled with white dots on their wings.
  • Size: This species varies from 1.75 to 2.5 inches (4.5 to 6.3 cm), an average size for a butterfly.
  • Diet: These butterflies have a predilection for nectar. They’re commonly seen sipping on flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: The female butterfly lays eggs on the leaves of the host plant.
  • Lifespan: Expect a life of 2 weeks to a month subsequent to reaching the adult butterfly stage.
  • Host Plants: They favour a wide range of plants, with a particular liking for the pearly everlasting.

So next time when you’re in Nevada, you might find these beautiful creatures fluttering around.

California Sister (Adelpha bredowii)

Discover the California Sister, a butterfly native to Nevada with an exciting palette of colors. This remarkable insect is noteworthy for its striking coloration and captivating behavior.

California Sister butterfly

  • Habitat: They prefer living in coastal oak woodlands and into the chaparral and pinyon-juniper woodland.
  • Appearance: This species has dark wings with contrasting patches of orange and white on the upper side.
  • Size: Typically, they measure 2.5 to 3.6 inches (6.35cm to 9.14cm) in wingspan.
  • Diet: Adult butterflies forage for nourishment on the sap, dung and rotting-fruit.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs singly or in small groups on the host plant
  • Lifespan: After reaching the butterfly stage, the lifespan is generally short, typically around two weeks.
  • Host Plants: They lay their eggs on oak trees and other woody plants. Consequently, the caterpillars consume the leaves of these plants.

Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia)

The Common Ringlet is a frequent butterfly species you could find in Nevada. It’s a fascination for the butterfly enthusiasts due to its unique features.

Common Ringlet butterfly

Pay close attention, here is some of the vital information about Common Ringlet:

  • Habitat: These butterflies prefer to occupy open grassy areas. Meadows, marshes, and even vacant lots are its hotspots.
  • Appearance: The upper side is light brown with a darker border. It features inconspicuous eye spots.
  • Size: This butterfly has a moderate wingspan which ranges from 1 to 1.5 inches (25 – 37 mm).
  • Diet: They primarily subsist on grasses. Adults feed on nectar.
  • Reproduction: Females lay individual eggs on the host plant leaves.
  • Lifespan: The total lifespan —from egg to death— is typically around 7 to 9 months.
  • Host Plants: These butterflies breed on various grass and sedge species.

Isn’t that fascinating? This makes the Common Ringlet an interesting addition to Nevada’s butterfly population.

Compton Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis vaualbum)

The Compton Tortoiseshell is a truly distinct North American butterfly species.

Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly

Let’s take a closer look at some of its key characteristics:

  • Habitat: Mostly found in deciduous forests, woodland areas, and even backyards across Nevada as well, where they live near their respective host plants.
  • Appearance: It boasts a distinctive coloration featuring a warm hue of dark orange with note-worthy yellow markings and black spots scattered on their wings making them unique among other species.
  • Size: It can reach about 2.5 inches (or 63.5 mm) in wingspan.
  • Diet: Adult tortoiseshells feed primarily on tree sap, rotting fruit and even manure, while caterpillars feast predominantly on willow leaves.
  • Reproduction: Females lay clusters of eggs on the underside of host plant leaves, which hatch into caterpillars.
  • Lifespan: They can live up to a year – remarkably longer than many other butterflies.
  • Host Plants: Mainly willows (Salix species), but also poplar and aspen trees. These plants are perfect as they provide food for the caterpillars until their transformation into stunning butterflies.

American Snout (Libytheana carinenta)

  • Habitat: You’ll primarily find this interesting butterfly species in woodland terrains. They enjoy planning their existence around hackberry trees, their chosen host plant.
  • Appearance: The American Snout, earning its name from the elongated snout-like appendage on the front of its face, often looks like a small, dried leaf when in resting stance.
  • Size: Typically, their wingspan ranges from 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8-5cm), proving a delightful sight when adrift.

American Snout butterfly

  • Diet: Consuming hackberry leaves during their larval stage, upon reaching adulthood they switch to nectar, sap and waste liquid from aphids.
  • Reproduction: Laying their eggs solely on their favored hackberry host, a unique lifecycle trait allows them to have multiple generations annually.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of American Snouts varies, some live merely weeks, surviving only to lay eggs, while others outlive several months.
  • Host Plants: Hackberry trees serve as the quintessential host plant, offering food, shelter, and ample breeding grounds.

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Meet the Pearl Crescent, a common butterfly resident in Nevada. This butterfly is an enchanting sight that never fails to capture one’s attention.

Pearl Crescent butterfly

  • Habitat: This species favors open spaces like meadows, roadside edges, or even your backyard garden.
  • Appearance: The upper side of their wings boasts a tawny-orange color, with intricate black margins and markings. Name comes from the white, crescent-shaped mark on the brown underside.
  • Size: Small yet noticeable, they extend to a breadth of about 1 – 1.5 inches (2.5 – 3.8 cm).
  • Diet: Adult Pearl Crescents are fond of nectaring from a variety of flowers, while caterpillars feed on leaves.
  • Reproduction: Females lay single eggs on the leaves of the host plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars after a few days.
  • Lifespan: Adults typically live for about 2-3 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars prefer smooth aster plant but can also feed on other aster species. Enjoy your encounters with this delightful butterfly and remember, their survival is well linked to the health of our ecosystems.

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

Unmistakable in looks, the Variegated Fritillary is indeed a sight to behold.

Variegated Fritillary butterfly

  • Habitat: They prefer open, sunny fields with an abundance of flowers.
  • Appearance: Its wings are characterized by vibrant orange colors with black spots and lines along the edges.
  • Size: Typically, their wingspan can span up to 2.2-3 in (57-76 mm).
  • Diet: Adult Fritillaries contribute to pollination as they feed on flower nectar.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs on host plants where caterpillars will emerge and feed.
  • Lifespan: Their life cycle is short, lasting only a few weeks.
  • Host Plants: Passion flowers, violets, and flax are their favorites.

A sight to behold in Nevada’s serene gardens and woodlands, these butterflies are sure to captivate your interest. Always be on the lookout for them during your next visit, they might just surprise you with their presence.

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

The Gray Hairstreak catches your eye. Notably, this petite butterfly is a standout among butterflies in the Silver State.

Gray Hairstreak butterfly

Now, let’s explore deeper about this species:

  • Habitat: They survive in diverse environments, from meadows to deserts.
  • Appearance: This butterfly flaunts a grayish-blue body, and it stands out with streaks running across its wings. It’s charming too with polished orange accents near the wing edges.
  • Size: The wingspan might range from 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm).
  • Diet: Due to their small size, these butterflies feast mostly on nectar from a variety of flowers.
  • Reproduction: Each year, females lay several batches of eggs on different host plants.
  • Lifespan: Gray Hairstreaks live for a few weeks.
  • Host Plants: They favor various desert plants and trees such as cottonwood and willow trees.

Next time you’re in Nevada, don’t miss an opportunity to spot this fascinating, energetic butterfly.

Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

The Orange Sulphur, or Colias eurytheme, is one of the fascinating butterfly species found in Nevada. This butterfly has an important role in nature, primarily serving as pollinators.

Orange Sulphur butterfly

  • Habitat: This species thrives in alfalfa fields, vacant lots, roadsides, and meadows.
  • Appearance: They feature a vibrant orange color on the topside, with dark margins. The underside is paler and can be pink or green.
  • Size: Wingspan ranges between 1.5 to 2.5 inches (38 to 64 millimeters).
  • Diet: Caterpillars feast on legumes whereas adults suck nectar from flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females lay green eggs singly on host plant leaves.
  • Lifespan: The adult Orange Sulphur lives up to a week or two.
  • Host Plants: Caterpillars enjoy alfalfa, clover, and pea family plants.

This butterfly species is often mistaken for their yellow-colored siblings. The Orange Sulphur is a little piece of Nevadan wildlife worth watching for.

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

You’ll definitely marvel at the Giant Swallowtail butterfly, scientifically known as Papilio cresphontes.

giant swallowtail butterfly

Here’s why:

  • Habitat: You’ll commonly find them in diverse environments, from woodlands to citrus groves.
  • Appearance: They are renowned for their distinctive dark brown to black color, coupled with a yellow ‘chest.’
  • Size: These graceful creatures are one of the largest with up to 6 inches (15.24 cm) wingspan. Quite a captivating sight!
  • Diet: Favored sources of nectar include azalea and bougainvillea.
  • Reproduction: Females lay single, small, spherical and brownish eggs on top of host plants.
  • Lifespan: Adult swallowtails live anywhere from one to two months in warm climates.
  • Host Plants: They love citrus plants, especially, hence, they’re also dubbed the ‘Citrus Swallowtail’.

These beautiful giants make our natural landscapes in Nevada more vibrant and alive. It’s a joy to watch them flutter about in their majestic size.

Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)

The Anise Swallowtail is a spectacular butterfly species you can spot in Nevada.

anise swallowtail butterfly

  • Habitat: This exquisite creature resides in the open, sunny areas that expose a range of host plants.
  • Appearance: The upper surface of adult wings usually displays a striking yellow color blending with black strokes along the borders.
  • Size: Reaching around 3.0 – 4.0 inches (7.6 – 10.1 cm) in size, this butterfly is considered medium-sized.
  • Diet: Adult Anise Swallowtails, like many butterfly species, primarily feed on nectar from a variety of flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females tend to scatter eggs on the leaves of host plants where the larvae will feed upon hatching.
  • Lifespan: Although the exact lifespan is unknown, it is estimated that most swallowtail butterflies live around 2 weeks in the wild.
  • Host Plants: These caterpillars prefer plants from the carrot family, but they are also known to thrive on anise, parsley, and fennel plants.

Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata)

The Two-tailed Swallowtail is a striking butterfly species. With proper care and observation, you can identify this species with ease.

two-tailed swallowtail butterfly

  • Habitat: They thrive in various landscapes such as valleys, canyons, and city parks.
  • Appearance: This butterfly is identifiable by its yellow body with black stripes and dual extensions or ‘tails’ on its hind wings.
  • Size: They are large, with a 3-5 inch (7.6-12.7 cm) wingspan, making them a grand sight during flight.
  • Diet: Adult butterflies feed on nectar from flowers, while caterpillars munch on leaves, especially cherry and willow, among others.
  • Reproduction: In spring, females lay single round green eggs on host plant leaves. Eggs hatch in about 4-10 days.
  • Lifespan: An adult Two-tailed Swallowtail can live from about a week to a month, depending on environmental factors.
  • Host Plants: These butterflies gravitate towards leaves of trees like cottonwood, cherry, and willow for breeding.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

The Red Admiral is a gem among the fluttering spectacle of Nevada’s butterfly population.

red-admiral butterfly

  • Habitat: It thrives in various environments including forests, city parks, and even your backyard.
  • Appearance: It dons a striking cloak of velvety black, adorned with deep red bands and white spots.
  • Size: Wingspan usually spans between 1.75 to 2.75 inches (4.4 to 7 cm).
  • Diet: The adult feeds on tree sap, rotting fruit and nectar from flowers.
  • Reproduction: The female lays pale green eggs on nettles, her offsprings’ future food.
  • Lifespan: The impressive butterfly typically soars Nevada’s skies for about 6 months.
  • Host Plants: The caterpillars have a particular fondness for nettles, making them their prime host plants.

Mesmerizing to witness, the Red Admiral is an excellent testament to Nevada’s biodiverse natural habitats.

Queen (Danaus gilippus)

The Queen, also known as Danaus gilippus, is a unique butterfly species that you’ll encounter in Nevada.

Queen Butterfly

  • Habitat: This species thrives in sunny open areas, gardens, and fields.
  • Appearance: The Queen is identifiable by its rich deep brown color with veiny lines and white spots.
  • Size: The wingspan can vary from 2.5 to 3.5 inches (6.4 to 8.9 cm).
  • Diet: Adult Queens mainly feed on flower nectar, while caterpillars eat the leaves of milkweed plants.
  • Reproduction: Queens undergo complete metamorphosis, from egg to caterpillar, then to pupa and finally to adult.
  • Lifespan: Adults usually live 2-5 weeks, but some can survive for several months in ideal conditions.
  • Host Plants: The host plants are typically milkweed, essential for the survival of the caterpillars.

Greenish Blue (Plebeius saepiolus)

The Greenish Blue (Plebeius saepiolus) is a unique butterfly species found in Nevada’s diverse habitats.

Greenish Blue (Pseudophilotes vicrama)

  • Habitat: They inhabit untreated meadows, open woods, and valleys.
  • Appearance: They live up to their name with their impressive greenish-blue wings with dark edges. The underwings have spots encased in white circles.
  • Size: The males are smaller, having a wingspan ranging between 1 and 1.25 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm).
  • Diet: Adult Greenish Blues feed mostly on flowers and occasionally tree sap.
  • Reproduction: The females lay eggs on the host plant, and the larvae when hatch feed on the plant.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of a Greenish Blue varies but is typically short, often just a few weeks.
  • Host Plants: The major host plants for the Greenish Blue are clover and vetch.

Knowing more about specific species like the Greenish Blue, we can appreciate the rich biodiversity of Nevada’s butterfly population.

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

These are among the most typical butterflies you’ll see in Nevada.

Cabbage White butterfly

Here’s are some key details about the Cabbage White:

  • Habitat: You’ll find them in a vast variety of environments including meadows, gardens, and roadsides.
  • Appearance: They’re white with black tipped wings. Males have one dot on the wings while females have two.
  • Size: The wingspan is about 2 inches (5 cm) wide, which is fairly small.
  • Diet: Adults sip nectar from many kinds of flowers. Their favorites are daisies and mustards.
  • Reproduction: Females lay singular greenish-yellow eggs on the bottom of host plant leaves.
  • Lifespan: Their life cycle takes about 20 to 30 days from egg to adult.
  • Host Plants: They especially favor plants from the mustard family, hence the name ‘Cabbage White’.

The Cabbage White is an integral part of Nevada’s butterfly species diversity. Their adaptability to various habitats makes them a wonderful sight in many landscapes.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

The Fiery Skipper, scientifically named Hylephila phyleus, is a butterfly species often sighted in Nevada.

Fiery Skipper butterfly

  • Habitat: They are found in sunny, open spaces with ample grasses, including parks, lawns, golf courses, and fields.
  • Appearance: The Fiery Skipper flaunts a fascinating coloration, with male skippers exhibiting orange or fiery yellow wings, while the females have dark brown wings with irregular ivory spots.
  • Size: The wingspan generally measures about 1 to 1.5 inches (2.54 to 3.81 cm).
  • Diet: The adults constantly forage for nectar from various flowers like Aster, Buddleia, and Lantana.
  • Reproduction: The female lays single, pale green eggs on host grasses.
  • Lifespan: Their lifespan extends to around 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Their larvae, recognized as Caterpillars, primarily feed on Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), and Crabgrass (Digitaria). In conclusion, the Fiery Skipper is a unique, vibrantly-colored butterfly that graces Nevada’s landscapes. Their presence is a testament to the region’s diverse ecosystem. Explore Nevada and chance upon their fiery exquisiteness.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

As our exploration of Nevada’s rich butterfly species draws to a close, we now turn our attention to the stunning Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor).

Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly

  • Habitat: These beauties are typically found in woodland areas, grasslands, and meadows in Nevada.
  • Appearance: The upper side is black-blue with a striking row of pale, rounded spots along the edges.
  • Size: They range from 2.8-5 inches (7-12.7cm) with females being larger.
  • Diet: Adults feed on nectar, while the larvae favor Dutchman’s pipe vines.
  • Reproduction: Females lay bright red eggs on host plants in clusters.
  • Lifespan: Adult lifespan is about two weeks. Overwintering as pupae allows them to live up to 9 months.
  • Host Plants: The Dutchman’s pipe vine serves as the major host, giving the butterfly its name.

Endowed with remarkable longevity and striking colors, the Pipevine Swallowtail truly affirms Nevada’s status as a biodiversity hotspot.


In conclusion, Nevada is home to an incredibly diverse array of butterfly species. Each of these 30 species contributes to the unique ecological environment of the state.

Be sure to leave a comment and share which of these butterflies have flitted into your life in Nevada!

Butterflies   Updated: August 11, 2023
avatar Welcome to Insectic, a blog to learn about insects and bugs. I'm Richard, and I've created this website to share my experience, knowledge, and passion with others.

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