Butterfly Species List

Green Comma (Polygonia faunus)
Green Comma (Polygonia faunus)



The parks diversity of elevations and habitat types helps account for the 141 confirmed species of butterflies found here. See the complete park butterfly species list.

Here are the top five butterfly species commonly spotted in the park along with the host plants that adults lay their eggs on and the subsequent caterpillars feed on. All photos provided by Rich Bray unless noted otherwise.

Mormon Fritillary
Speyeria mormonia
Mountain Blue Violet
Viola adunca

Painted Lady (vanessa cardui) and a thistle (Cirsium) leaf
Painted Lady
Vanessa cardui
Various thistle species
Cirsium sp.

Small Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis oetus) and grasses
Small Wood-Nymph
Cercyonis oetus
Various Grass species
(Poaceae sp.)

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) and Waxflower (Jamesia americana)
Spring Azure
Celastrina ladon
Jamesia americana

ArcticBlue (Plebejus glandon) and Northern Rock Jasmine (Androsace septentrionalis)_688x250

Arctic Blue
Plebejus glandon
Northern Rock
Androsace septentrionalis


These 15 butterfly species are also commonly found in the park.

Ochra Ringlet, Rocky Mountain Parnassian and Greenish Blue butterflies
Ochre Ringlet
Coenonympha tullia
Rocky Mountain

Parnassius smintheus
Greenish Blue
Plebejus saepiolus

Western Pine Elfin, Alexandra's Sulphur and Hoary Comma butterflies
Western Pine

Callophrys eryphon

Colias alexandra
Hoary Comma
Polygonia gracilis

Clouded Sulphur, Orange Sulphur and Mead's Sulphur butterflies

Clouded Sulphur
Colias philodice
Orange Sulphur
Colias eurytheme
Mead's Sulphur
Colias meadii

Variable Checkerspot, Melissa Arctic and Purplish Copper butterflies
Euphrydra anicia

Melissa Arctic
Oeneis melissa
Purplish Copper
Lycaena helloides

Common Alpine, Northern Crescent and Silvery Blue butterflies
Common Alpine
Erebia epipsodea
Northern Crescent
Physciodes cocyta
Silvery Blue
Glaucopsyche lygdamus

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Have questions? We've got answers! Call 8am–4:30pm Mountain Time to speak with park staff (recorded information after hours). For Trail Ridge Road status, call (970) 586-1222.

Contact Us