(WHTM) — Butterflies are known for their beautiful and symmetrical colored wings. With over 180 species in the commonwealth, here are just a few you may see throughout your garden, according to Penn State’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.
This species of butterfly is one of the most commonly found in the state. To properly identify one of these insects, you should look for a pair of black dots on the males and a set of two black dots on the females.
The center says that these butterflies get their name from the caterpillars which eat plants, such as cabbages.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
These butterflies have yellow and black stripes on their wings and body. They also have quite a large wingspan, which can reach up to six and a half inches in some cases. Males have minor orange or blue spots near their tails.
Red Spotted Purple
You would think with a name like Red Spotted Purple, that this insect would have those colors on their wings, right? Well, they are black and blue instead! These butterflies also be lined with white and orange on the tips of the wings. The undersides of the wings may look more purple and contain more orange and white dashes.
If you think of a butterfly, this is probably the first one that comes to mind. Monarchs have large orange and black wings and love using the Milkweed plant. They use the plant for everything such as laying eggs, drinking the nectar and even eating the leaves when they are caterpillars. The center says that eating those leaves makes the Monarch poisonous to other animals.
Great Spangled Fritillary
These butterflies are large in size and feature a rusty orange color with black or dark brown markings. According to Missouri’s Department of Conservation, the female versions of this butterfly are much darker compared to their male counterparts. This is the most common ‘fritillary’ butterfly in the eastern United States.