Butterflies of the North Coast & Cascades

Butterflies are pollinators and important indicators of climate change because their distribution reflects environmental conditions. As temperatures and precipitation patterns changes, butterflies shift their distribution to conditions where they can survive and reproduce. Over the last decade, we have been assembling butterfly species lists for each park through inventories, research, and the Cascades Butterfly Project.

Skippers (Hesperiidae)

Species Common name Mount Rainier National Park North Cascades National Park Complex Olympic National Park San Juan Island National Historical Park Larval host plants
Carterocephalus palaemon Arctic skipper x x x Grasses
Hesperia colorado Western branded skipper x Grasses
Hesperia comma Common branded skipper x x Grasses and sedges
Hesperia juba Juba skipper x Grasses
Ochlodes sylvanoides Woodland skipper x x x Grasses
Erynnis icelus Dreamy duskywing x Willows, poplars, aspens, and sometimes birch
Erynnis persius Persius duskywing x x Lupine and other legumes
Erynnis propertius Propertius duskywing x Oaks
Pyrgus ruralis Two-banded checkered skipper x x x Rose family
Dorsal side of a woodland skipper perched on a fingertip
Woodland skipper (dorsal)

NPS

Gossamer-winged Butterflies (Lycaenidae)

Species Common name Larval host plants Mount Rainier National Park North Cascades National Park Complex Olympic National Park San Juan Island National Historical Park
Lycaena helloides Purplish copper Knotweeds and cinquefoils x x x x
Lycaena heteronea Blue copper Wild buckwheat x x
Lycaena mariposa Mariposa copper Mainly Ericaceae, including Cascade huckleberry x x x
Lycaena nivalis Lilac-bordered copper
Knotweed
x
Celastrina echo Echo blue Many plants including subalpine spirea and Cascade huckleberry x x x
Euphilotes ancilla Rocky Mountain dotted-blue Wild buckwheat x
Everes amyntula Western tailed-blue
Legumes
x x
Glaucopsyche lygdamus Silvery blue Legumes x x x x
Glaucopsyche piasus Arrowhead blue Lupines and milkvetch x
Plebejus acmon Acmon blue Wild buckwheats and legumes x x x
Plebejus anna Anna's blue Broadleaf lupine x x
Plebejus glandon Arctic blue Cascade huckleberry; pink heather; saxifrages; lupine x x x
Plebejus icarioides Boisduval's blue Broadleaf lupine x x x
Plebejus idas Northern blue Legumes x x x
Plebejus lupini Lupine blue Wild buckwheats x x
Plebejus melissa Melissa blue Legumes x
Plebejus saepiolus Greenish blue Clovers x x
Callophrys augustinus Brown elfin Mainly Ericaceae, including Cascade huckleberry x x
Callophrys eryphon Western pine elfin
Several different pine species
x
Callophrys gryneus Cedar/Juniper hairstreak Junipers x
Callophrys johnsoni Johnson's hairstreak Pine dwarf mistletoe on conifers x
Callophrys mossii Moss' elfin Stonecrops, including Sedum x x x
Satyrium sylvinus Sylvan hairstreak Willows x x
Strymon melinus Gray hairstreak Many herbs, particularly legumes and mallow family x x
Dorsal view of a small bronze, blue and orange buttefly
Anna's blue butterfly

NPS

Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

Species Common name Larval host plants Mount Rainier National Park North Cascades National Park Complex Olympic National Park San Juan Island National Historical Park
Danaus plexippus Monarch Milkweek x
Boloria chariclea Arctic fritillary Violets, American bistort, and Cascade huckleberry; many plants x x x
Boloria epithore Western meadow fritillary Violets x x x x
Speyeria callippe Callippe fritillary Violets x
Speyeria coronis Coronis fritillary Violets x x
Speyeria cybele Great spangled fritillary Violets x
Speyeria hydaspe Hydaspe fritillary Violets x x x
Speyeria mormonia Mormon fritillary Violets x x
Speyeria zerene Zerene fritillary Violets x
Speyeria zerene bremnerii Valley silverspot Violets x
Limenitis lorquini Lorquin's admiral Shrubs and trees including wild cherry, willows, and poplar x x x x
Aglais milberti Milbert's tortoiseshell Nettle x x x x
Chlosyne hoffmanni Hoffmann's checkerspot Cascade aster, other asters x
Chlosyne palla Northern checkerspot Asters; Cascade aster and alpine aster x x
Euphydryas anicia Anicia checkerspot
Many herbs including paintbrush, lousewort, and Penstemon
x
Euphydryas chalcedona Snowberry checkerspot Many herbs including paintbrush and beardtongue x x x
Euphydryas colon Colon checkerspot Many plants including snowberry, Penstemon, louseworts, and paintbrush x
Euphydryas editha Edith's checkerspot Many plants including Penstemon, louseworts, and paintbrush x x
Nymphalis antiopa Mourning cloak Several willows and western mountain ash x x x
Nymphalis californica California tortoiseshell Wild lilac x x
Phyciodes cocyta Northern crescent Asters; Cascade aster and alpine aster x
Phyciodes mylitta Mylitta crescent Native and introduced thistles, edible thistle x x
Phyciodes pulchella Field crescent Asters; Cascade aster and alpine aster x x
Polygonia faunus Green comma Various shrubs and trees; willow, birch, alder, currants, and azalea x x x x
Polygonia gracilis Hoary comma Currants; white azalea x x
Polygonia oreas Oreas comma Currants x x
Polygonia satyrus Satyr comma Nettle x x x x
Vanessa annabella West coast lady Mallow family x x
Vanessa atalanta Red admiral Nettle x x x
Vanessa cardui Painted lady Many herbs, edible thistle x x x x
Vanessa virginiensis American lady
Aster family
x
Cercyonis oetus Small wood nymph Grasses x
Cercyonis pegala Common wood nymph Grasses x
Coenonympha tullia Ochre ringlet Grasses and rushes x
Coenonympha tullia insulana Island ochre ringlet Grasses and sedges x
Erebia epipsodea Common alpine Grasses x
Erebia vidleri Vidler's alpine Grasses x x
Oeneis chryxus Chryxus arctic Grasses x x
Oeneis nevadensis Great arctic Grasses x
 Dorsal view of a colorful Milbert's tortoiseshell butterfly
Milbert's tortoiseshell butterfly

NPS

Swallowtail Butterflies (Papilionidae)

Species Common name Larval host plants Mount Rainier National Park North Cascades National Park Complex Olympic National Park San Juan Island National Historical Park
Papilio eurymedon Pale swallowtail Leaves of cherry and ash; other shrubs and trees x x x x
Papilio indra Indra swallowtail Parsely family x x
Papilio multicaudata Two-tailed swallowtail Chokecherry and ash; other shrubs and trees x
Papilio rutulus Western tiger swallowtail Cherry, willows, aspen, and ash; other shrubs and trees x x x x
Papilio zelicaon Anise swallowtail Parsley family including desert parsley, cow parsnip x x x x
Parnassius clodius Clodius parnassian Bleeding heart x x x
Parnassius smintheus Mountain parnassian Stonecrops, including Sedum x x x
Dorsal view of an anise swallowtail butterfly
Anise swallowtail butterfly

NPS / Tanner Humphries

Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae)

Species Common name Larval host plants Mount Rainier National Park North Cascades National Park Complex Olympic National Park San Juan Island National Historical Park
Colias alexandra Queen Alexandra's sulphur Legumes x
Colias eurytheme Orange sulphur Legumes, including broadleaf lupine x x
Colias interior Pink-edged sulphur
Blueberries
x x
Colias occidentalis Western sulphur Legumes x x
Colias philodice Clouded sulphur Legumes, including broadleaf lupine x x
Anthocharis sara Sarah's orangetip Mustards, including toothwort and bittercress x x x x
Euchloe ausonides insulanus Island marble
Mustard family
x
Neophasia menapia Pine white Conifer needles including pines, Douglas-fir, and true firs x x x
Pieris marginalis Margined white Mustards, including Cardamine x x x
Pieris rapae Cabbage white* Mustard family x x x
Pontia beckerii Becker's white Mustard family x
Pontia occidentalis Western white Mustards, including field peppergrass, daggerpod, and bittercress x x x
Pontia sisymbrii Spring white
Mustard family
x
* = non-native
Ventral view of a greenish-yellow butterfly perched on a leaf
Orange sulphur butterfly

NPS / Melanie Weiss

Last updated: June 22, 2018