As beauty freed is set a fluttering, I like butterflies long to be
In hours of the ambered afternoon, one might spy members of the magnificent Swallowtail family Papilionidae gliding by. These breath taking beauties are a sight to behold as they moves through fields of gold, flaunting their splendid tails of hue.
Swallowtails are large, striking butterflies whose family, Papilionidae, include over 33 species in North America and 560 worldwide. They get their name from the tail-like extensions on their hindwings. They are a favorite for many butterfly lovers as their size and brillant features make them easy to spot and enjoy.
Sometimes travers or mysterious migrators, Brush-footed fliers from the family Nymphalidae, dot the earth’s skies in color. These lovely wanderers are beloved by many as they illuminate the heavens with their vivid hues. They are not just butterflies but brilliant wildflowers in flight.
Nymphalidaeis the largest family of butterflies with more than 6,000 species worldwide and about 160 in North America. Many species are medium to large sized and radiantly hued, however, the under wings are, in contrast, are often dull and can look remarkably like dead leaves or bark. These butterflies are called brush-footed because they are known to stand on only four legs while the other two are curled up.
Whites and Sulphurs
Some of Mother Nature’s tiniest creations, White and Sulphur Butterflies from the family Pieridae may be petite in size, but when they dance the skies of painted blue, immense beauty is shared amongst two. Sit in the garden awhile and enjoy a bit of their harnessed sunshine.
The Pieridae family of butterflies has about 1,000 species worldwide and approximately 61 in North America. Most pierid butterflies are white, yellow, or orange, often with black spots. The word “butterfly” is believed to have originated from the Brimstone Yellow, which was called the “butter-coloured fly” by early British naturalists.
Like tiny jewels floating upon the breeze, the Gossamer- Winged butterflies of the family Lycaenidae move brightly through the skies of North America. Small, yet exquisite to catch of glimpse of, these stunning treasures is truly a luxury!
Gossamer-Wings are small butterflies, usually under a 2-inch wingspan. They are dazzlingly marked and sometimes flaunt a metallic gloss. In North America, there are about 139 species and around 7,000 worldwide. Catch the wind and let your heart soar with these delicate winged butterflies.
Over summer blossoms the midnight hour approaches as the Metalmark glides by, for these butterflies’ stunning iridescent glimmer is nothing short of a starry night upon wing.
A mini kaleidoscope of wings flutters by as the Metalmarks of the family Riodinidae dot the meadows. The hues range in these butterflies from a transparent shimmer, to muted red-orange greys, to iridescent blue-greens. Small copper and silvery metallic spots also shine to give them their common name of “metalmarks”. There are approximately 1,300 species of these butterflies worldwide and about 20 in North America.
Dressed in rosa and azul, Skippers butterflies adorn the garden as rainbow mists of morning dew.
Named for their quick, darting flight habits, Skippers are often overlooked but when spied are entertaining and fun to watch. These zippy fliers have small to medium wingspans averaging from about 1 to 11⁄2-inches. More than 125,000 species are recognized worldwide and about 12,000 in North America. Skippers also have generally stockier bodies and larger compound eyes, with their wings are usually small in proportion to their bodies.