14 Most Common Types of Butterflies in South Carolina (with Pictures)

Roughly 165 butterfly species contact South Carolina residence for at the very least component of the yr, providing residents a entire world of wondrous organic displays. With gorgeous symmetrical designs brought to lifestyle via vivid hues, butterflies deliver a new amount of splendor to outdoor areas. Discover what kind of sights are in retailer for you with this seem at some of the most widespread varieties of butterflies in South Carolina.

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The 14 Common Types of Butterflies in South Carolina

1. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Image Credit: Valoxioma, Pixabay
Scientific Name Papilio glaucus
Wingspan 3.5–5.5 inches

The non-migratory Jap Tiger Swallowtail is one of the most identifiable butterflies in South Carolina. The condition adopted the Japanese Tiger Swallowtail as its official symbol in 1994, a fitting title for a massive and vibrantly coloured specimen that is all too eager to grace gardens and backyards with its existence.

Males have hanging yellow wings with black “tiger” stripes. Girls both have yellow wings with sharper black margins or completely black wings with mild blue speckling on the decrease parts. In character, you’ll locate it in moist forested regions experiencing nectar from wild cherry, lilac, milkweed, coneflowers, and other tall-stalked flowering vegetation.

2. Eastern Tailed-Blue

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)
Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) (Image Credit: Joshua Mayer, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)
Scientific Name Cupido comyntas
Wingspan 0.75–1.0 inches

The Eastern Tailed-Blue may be tiny, but it is challenging not to drop in awe of the male butterfly’s iridescent blue wings highlighted even more by a dim border and contrasting brilliant white edge. Ladies have much more subdued darkish gray wings that feature a comparable white margin. The wings of the two sexes have gentle grey undersides and distinct orange marks earlier mentioned every wing’s tail.

As a low flier, the Japanese Tailed-Blue prefers meadows, disturbed websites, and other relatively open up places the place it can uncover reduced-sitting down bouquets these kinds of as sweet clover, asters, and wintercress. Host plants contain many legumes in the pea family, which includes clover, trefoil, and alfalfa.

3. Spicebush Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
Image Credit: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay
Scientific Name Papilio troilus
Wingspan 3.0–4.0 inches

The Spicebush Swallowtail is comparable to the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail in a number of methods. Experienced caterpillars have a hanging visual appeal, that includes an enlarged head and eyespots that can make them look like snakes to predators. And as butterflies, they imitate their more harmful cousin, the Pipevine Swallowtail, considerably like the black-winged female Japanese Tiger.

Spicebush Swallowtails reside across South Carolina, with habitats ranging from deciduous woodlands and swamps to open fields and city backyards. As the identify implies, spicebush is an important attract for these eye-catching butterflies. Other host plants incorporate sassafras and sweet bay, although some of their favourite meals resources contain azaleas, jewelweed, and Japanese honeysuckles.

4. Red-Banded Hairstreak

Red-banded Hairstreak - Calycopis cecrops, Woodbridge, Va
Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops, Woodbridge, Va (Image Credit: Judy Gallagher_Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)
Scientific Name Calycopis cecrops
Wingspan 0.75–1.25 inches

The Crimson-Banded Hairstreak is one particular of the smaller South Carolina butterflies and is an desirable species residing close to dry wooded regions in rural and city locations. Its little gray wings characteristic a vibrant band of orange and incorporate two tails on each as portion of a defense mechanism. You can locate the Purple-Banded Hairstreak flying close to forest edges, clearings, and coastal hammocks.

Caterpillars arise under the fallen leaves of host crops, this kind of as wax myrtles, sumacs, and oak trees. Alongside with these trees, plants like milkweed, meadowsweet, sweet pepperbush, and yarrow will entice older people throughout the active summertime period.

5. Gulf Fritillary

gulf fritillary butterfly
Image Credit: Paul Brennan, Pixabay
Scientific Name Agraulis vanillae
Wingspan 2.5–3.75 inches

The Gulf Fritillary is a semi-migratory butterfly that prefers warmer locales, with a variety rarely achieving into northern states. It can be a typical sight 12 months-round in South Carolina, the place delicate weather allows it overwinter. They are easy to entice to flower gardens in rural and city environments.

Passionflower vines are the host plant for Gulf Fritillary larvae, which are distinguishable by their vivid orange bodies and sharp black spines. You can uncover these butterflies across South Carolina following to roadsides and in open areas like fields, pastures, and parks. You can differentiate the Gulf Fritillary from the related Monarch butterfly by the silver spots on the underside of its black-speckled orange wings.

6. Carolina Satyr

Carolina satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius) ventral
Carolina satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius) ventral (Image Credit: Anne Toal, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)
Scientific Name Hermeuptychia sosybius
Wingspan 1.25–1.5 inches

The fairly discrete Carolina Satyr is a tiny butterfly you will generally locate flying around grasslands and forest understories. Though the brown backs of the wings aren’t specifically intriguing, the butterfly often rests with them perked upright to show off the distinguishing strains of eyespots near the edges.

Carolina Satyrs lay their eggs in a assortment of grasses common to lawns. Even though they eat nectar from time to time in the tumble, grownups normally feed on tree sap, rotting fruit, and fungi, considerably like other satyrs.

7. Monarch

a beautiful monarch butterfly
Image Credit: gyulche1, Pixabay
Scientific Name Danaus plexippus
Wingspan 3.5–4 inches

The black-veined orange wings of the Monarch butterfly are some of the most recognizable in South Carolina and over and above. The distinctive migrations of hundreds of butterflies are sights to behold as they journey from Mexico to southern Canada and back once again with the shifting seasons.

Regrettably, Monarch populations confronted significant losses more than the final many a long time, with western populations declining by ninety nine.nine%. Eastern populations that contact South Carolina are also in quick decline. Homeowners can do their part to assist Monarchs and other essential pollinators by including their favored crops to the garden.

Monarchs depend on milkweed as a host plant and a nectar resource at all moments of the 12 months. In South Carolina, they’ll also dine on goldenrods, ironweed, and tickseed when they move by way of the state in the slide. For the duration of the spring migration, they’ll decide for red clover, lantana, thistles, and lilac.

8. Cloudless Sulphur

cloudless sulphur butterfly
Image Credit: Krzysztof Niewolny, Pixabay
Scientific Name Phoebis sennae
Wingspan 2.25–3 inches

The lemon-colored wings of the Cloudless Sulphur are as bright and sunny as the open up fields, yards, road edges, and shorelines the place these South Carolina butterflies stay. As the biggest and one of the most plentiful sorts of sulphur species, they are effortless to discover across the state and not timid about hanging close to people. Fall migrations of Cloudless Sulphurs are easy to check out in South Carolina as they fly near to the ground.

Plant hosts consist of many species of Cassia and Senna in the pea family members. As for nectar, Cloudless Sulphurs search to various lengthy-tubed flowers this sort of as hibiscus, lantana, and wild early morning glory.

9. Cabbage White

cabbage-white butterfly
Image Credit; Mabel Amber, Pixabay
Scientific Name Pieris rapae
Wingspan 1.75–2.25 inches

Cabbage whites might be acquainted in South Carolina, especially in open up, populated regions, but they’re considerably from desirable. The larvae are backyard garden pests, munching on leafy veggies in the mustard family members, such as kale, cabbage, and cauliflower. Keep an eye out for eco-friendly caterpillars with a slim yellow stripe.

The adult kind of this invasive species features fragile paper-white wings with light-weight green undersides. You’ll seldom want to appeal to it to your property, but you can do so with dandelions, asters, mints, and mustard crops.

10. Clouded Skipper

Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)
Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius) (Image Credit: Anne Toal, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)
Scientific Name Lerema accius
Wingspan 1.25–1.75 inches

Clouded Skippers continue to be lower-important with their dim brown wings, but shades of shimmery violet on the undersides include a contact of flash. They are common in grassy places in South Carolina, such as meadows, forest edges, and woodland clearings around rivers and swamps.

Caterpillars dwell in grasses, notably St. Augustine and wooly beard grass. Grownups feed on a wide assortment of bouquets, such as lantana, buttonbush, and shepherd’s needle.

11. Variegated Fritillary

Variegated fritillary
Image Credit: George, Pixabay
Scientific Name Euptoieta claudia
Wingspan 1.75–2.5 inches

The Variegated Fritillary butterfly’s complicated wing patterns incorporate hundreds of intrigue to the different brown and orange shades. Thick veins generate a wavy gridlike sample alongside the topside, although black spots line the edge. Even though the grownup butterfly is appealing, the Variegated Fritillary distinguishes alone via its mesmerizing pearly chrysalis.

You can locate these butterflies in the open up, residing all around prairies, fields, and roadsides. Like the Gulf Fritillary, the Variegated species find out passionflower crops as host plants but will also use ornamentals like violets and stonecrop. Mature butterflies enjoy red clover, peppermint, dogbane, and numerous types of milkweed.

12. Red-Spotted Purple

Red-spotted purple butterfly
Image Credit: Ian Lindsay, Pixabay
Scientific Name Limenitis arthemis
Wingspan 3.0–4.0 inches

With shiny blue wings accentuated by contrasting orange spotting, the Purple-Spotted Purple is a visible handle and arguably the most beautiful butterfly in South Carolina. Curiously, the butterfly is one of two associates of the same species. The Purple-Spotted Purple’s body mimics the neighborhood poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail, while its northern counterpart, the White Admiral, has black wings with thick white bands.

Red-Noticed Purples use a variety of trees and shrubs as host vegetation, such as wild cherry, poplar, oak, birch, hawthorn, and willow. Grown ups choose tree sap, rotting fruit, dung, and carrion but will at times enjoy nectar from asters, goldenrod, and other bouquets. Putting cut-up oranges and other fruit in a suet feeder is an excellent way to attract them in the summer season.

13. American Lady

american lady butterfly
Image Credit: Mike Goad, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Vanessa virginiensis
Wingspan 1.75–2.5 inches

American Lady butterflies have appealing orange-brown wings with dark borders and unique white and purple places alongside the margins. But even a lot more attractive are the undersides, showcasing complex cobweb markings and large eyespots for repelling predators. Summer grownup varieties are far more lively than the more compact late-time forms.

Hilltops and wide-open up regions with minimal-lying plants are the ideal places to uncover American Lady butterflies in South Carolina. Caterpillars generate conspicuous silky nests on host crops such as cudweed, pearly eternal, wormwood, and other weeds. Grownups enjoy well-known butterfly-attracting flowers, such as milkweed, asters, goldenrod, and dogbane.

14. Common Buckeye

common buckeye butterfly
Image credit: Brett Hondow, Pixabay
Scientific Name Junonia coenia
Wingspan 1.75–2.75 inches

The pronounced eyespots on the Frequent Buckeye’s brown wings make a breathtaking sight if you can get close adequate to see their various hues. These eye-catching South Carolina people remain relatively uncovered in sunny regions with low-increasing vegetation but are quick to fly away at the 1st hint of hazard.

Grownup Buckeyes will lay their eggs on herbaceous crops, this sort of as snapdragons, foxglove, toadflax, and plantain. They feed on several plants, like asters, dogbane, gumweed, and peppermint, but will drink from puddles and mud on the floor where they hold out.

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Butterflies of all sorts enjoy South Carolina’s around-excellent climate as significantly as the individuals who dwell there, which is great news for Palmetto Point out people. By staying mindful of the frequent sorts of butterflies in South Carolina, you can plan your landscaping to deliver these beautiful creatures in droves.



Featured Image Credit history: 4Me2Design, Pixabay