Denali's Butterflies

butterfly on bluebell flower

NPS Photo

Denali National Park and Preserve is home to diverse array of plant life. These plants rely on pollinators to reproduce. Pollinators stop by in search of nectar and other rewards. Along their journey, they collect and deposit pollen from plant to plant and aid the reproduction process.

There are over 50 species of butterflies in Denali, making them an important part of the ecosystem. We can thank them, along with the many other pollinators in Alaska, for the colorful displays of wildflowers in the spring, and the wealth of berries in the fall.

Learn more about pollination in Denali with this interactive story map.

Denali Butterfly Species List
butterfly on sandy ground

Skippers (Hesperiidae)

Butterflies in the family Hesperiidae

two butterflies on the ground

Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks

Butterflies in the Family Lycaenidae

butterfly on plant

Brush-Footed butterflies

Butterflies in the Family Nymphalidae

butterfly on flowers

Swallowtails, Parnassians

Butterflies in the Family Papilionidae

butterfly on sandy ground

Whites, Sulphurs, Yellows

Butterflies in the Family Pieridae


Skippers (Hesperiidae)

butterfly on ground

Arctic skipper

Carterocephalus palaemon

butterfly on sandy ground

Common branded skipper

Hesperia comma

Grizzled skipper

Pyrgus centaureae

Blues, coppers, hairstreaks (Lycaenidae)

2 butterflies on sandy ground

Northern azure

Celastrina lucia

butterfly on leaf

Western tailed-blue

Cupido amyntula

butterfly on leaf

Silvery blue

Glaucopsyche lygdamus
butterfly on blade of grass

Dorcas copper

Lycaena dorcas

American copper

Lycaena phlaeas
butterfly on ground

Arctic blue

Plebejus glandon
butterfly on ground

Northern blue

Plebejus idas
butterfly on ground

Cranberry blue

Plebejus optilete

Greenish blue

Plebejus saepiolus

Brush-footed butterflies (Nymphalidae)

butterfly on small plants

Alaskan fritillary

Boloria alaskensis
butterfly on ground

Arctic fritillary

Boloria chariclea
butterfly on plant

Bog fritillary

Boloria eunomia
butterfly on ground

Freija fritillary

Boloria freija
butterfly on ground near flowers

Dingy fritillary

Boloria improba
butterfly on plants

Polaris fritillary

Boloria polaris

Silver-bordered fritillary

Boloria selene
butterfly on ground

Common ringlet

Coenonympha tullia

Disa alpine

Erebia disa
butterfly on ground

Red-disked alpine

Erebia discoidalis
butterfly on ground

Banded alpine

Erebia fasciata

Lafontaine's alpine

Erebia lafontainei

Mt. McKinley alpine

Erebia mackinleyensis
butterfly on ground

Taiga alpine

Erebia mancinus

Eskimo alpine

Erebia occulta
butterfly on ground

Yellow-dotted alpine

Erebia pawloskii

Ross' alpine

Erebia rossii

Four-dotted alpine

Erebia youngi
butterfly on ground

White admiral

Limenitis arthemis
butterfly on rock

Mourning cloak

Nymphalis antiopa
butterfly on rock

White-veined arctic

Oeneis bore
butterfly on twig

Jutta arctic

Oeneis jutta
butterfly on plant

Melissa arctic

Oeneis melissa
butterfly on leaf

Polixenes arctic

Oeneis polixenes
butterfly on leaf

Field crescent

Phyciodes pulchella
butterfly on leaf

Green comma

Polygonia faunus
butterfly on leaf

Hoary comma

Polygonia gracilis

Swallowtails, parnassians (Papilionidae)

butterfly on flowers

Canadian tiger swallowtail

Papilio canadensis
butterfly on flowers

Old World swallowtail

Papilio machaon
butterfly on plants

Eversmann's parnassian

Parnassius eversmanni
butterfly on flowers

Phoebus parnassianhespe

Parnassius phoebus


Whites, sulphurs, yellows (Pieridae)

butterfly on rock

Canadian sulphur

Colias canadensis
butterfly on sandy ground

Giant sulphur

Colias gigantea
butterfly on ground

Hecla sulphur

Colias hecla
butterfly on purple flowers

Labrador sulphur

Colias nastes
butterfly on sandy ground

Palaeno sulphur

Colias palaeno
butterfly on ground

Clouded sulphur

Colias philodice
butterflies on rocky ground

Margined white

Pieris marginalis complex
butterfly on flower

Western white

Pontia occidentalis

Last updated: August 9, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9:30 am—5 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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