11 Types of Butterflies in Maine

Butterflies in Maine
Photo by Kathy Servian on Unsplash

I will take you on a short journey of butterflies in Maine. Do you know Maine has a wide range of natural beauty and animals, and its numerous butterfly species are among its most alluring residents?

These butterflies in Maine have always piqued the interest of tourists to Maine thanks to their vividly colorful wings.

This article will assist you if you want to see one of these stunning creatures.

This article will go through the various butterfly species you can find in Maine, their appearance, and potential locations for sightings.

1. Painted Lady

Painted Lady Butterfly
by wwarby is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is the first on our list of butterflies in Maine. In Maine, throughout the summer, it’s not unusual to see Vanessa Cardui, also known as the Painted Lady butterfly.

It can be seen fluttering between flowers in gardens and fields with its unique orange and brown wings.

These butterflies are well-known for their protracted migration routes; some cover distances of up to 9,000 miles between North Africa and Northern Europe.

Despite not being specific to Maine, they are a favorite sight for local nature lovers and a wonderful addition to any garden.

2. Red Admiral

Red Admiral Butterfly - Types of Butterflies in Georgia
by TrotterFechan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Still with you on the list of butterflies in Maine. It’s common to see Red Admiral butterflies, better known by their scientific name, Vanessa Atlanta.

It has unique black and red wings rimmed with white and is a medium-sized butterfly. These wings have an orange band on the hind wings and are decorated with white dots.

The Red Admiral can be spotted swooping across gardens and meadows, looking for nectar.

A migratory butterfly, the red admiral is said to go from Maine to the southern United States to spend the winter there.

They return in the spring and lay their eggs on stinging nettle, providing their young with food as larvae. The larvae undergo several stages before emerging from their chrysalis as a butterfly.

It’s interesting to note that the Red Admiral butterfly is reputed to be aggressive.

Male butterflies will aggressively chase off any other butterflies that enter their territory when they are on patrol in one region.

This behavior is thought to be connected to mating and defending their area from potential competitors.

Maine is home to many Red Admiral butterflies, which are a stunning and fascinating species.

It is beautiful to see in the wild thanks to its vibrant colors and unusual markings, and many of the state’s wildflowers and gardens depend on it for pollination.

3. Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak Butterfly - Butterflies in South Carolina
by ikewinski is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You might come across the rare Mourning Cloak as one of the butterflies in Maine. Their wings are edged with blue dots and have a characteristic dark coloring.

These butterflies are frequently seen in woodland settings, where they frequently warm themselves by lying in the sun.

Meanwhile, they may hibernate during the winter but are sometimes observed flying around in the early spring.

Interestingly, the Mourning Cloak got its name from how they resembled the cloaks worn during funeral processions.

Despite their sinister moniker, these butterflies are a lovely addition to the Maine countryside.

4. Viceroy

Read on on the list of butterflies in Maine. One of Maine’s most prevalent butterfly species is the viceroy butterfly, also known as Limenitis Archippus.

Because of their similar appearance, it is frequently mistaken for a Monarch butterfly.

However, a Viceroy may be distinguished by the black line that runs across their rear wings. By this line, they differ from Monarchs, which have more rounded and less pointed wings.

Viceroy caterpillars consume vegetation, like the majority of butterflies. Willow and cottonwood leaves are their main food sources.

Consider growing these kinds of trees or bushes in your garden if you wish to entice these gorgeous creatures.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see viceroy butterflies in Maine’s parks and natural settings since they are a treat to watch as they fly about.

5. Spring Azure

Spring Azure
by treegrow is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Small and blue, the Spring Azure butterfly is a regular sight in Maine. It’s just over an inch wingspan makes it one of the state’s smallest butterfly species.

Its body is normally dark brown, and its wings have lovely white margins and a faint blue tint. 

This butterfly is frequently observed flying close to the ground in forests or streams. They can be seen in bright and shaded places and are active from late March through May.

Nectar from flowers like wild blueberry and blackberry blossoms is their preferred food source.

If you’re lucky, you might even see the green with white stripes Spring Azure’s caterpillar, which eats dogwood leaves and blueberry bushes.

6. American Lady

American Lady
by TexasEagle is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

This comes next on our list of butterflies in Maine. Venessa Virginiensis, also referred to as the American Lady butterfly, is a stunning species that may be found in the state of Maine.

It is a recognizable brown and orange color with a wingspan between 5 and 6 centimeters.

This species is typically found in broad fields, meadows, and prairies and is visible from late spring to early October. 

A fascinating feature of the American Lady is that, like the well-known Monarch butterfly, it frequently migrates south in the fall.

They normally remain within the United States, not migrating as far as the monarch.

Typically, this migration occurs in October, but it can sometimes occur in the early spring. When you’re out enjoying the outdoors, watch for this lovely butterfly.

7. Buckeye Butterfly

Buckeye Butterfly
by Jim, the Photographer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In Maine, you can frequently see Buckeye Butterflies in the summer. It is a medium-sized butterfly with striking eye-like patterns on its brown wings.

These marks are believed to act as a protective mechanism to frighten off prospective predators.

The Buckeye Butterfly is a well-known daytime flitter, fluttering from blossom to flower in quest of nectar.

It’s interesting to note that the Buckeye Butterfly may also be found in the Midwest and the southern states of the United States.

It is still regarded as a native species of Maine, though. It is a sturdy species that can endure dry spells and the colder winter months. 

8. Spicebush Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail
by AcrylicArtist is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You might stumble upon the stunning Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly in Maine.

They can be identified by their striking blue wings, black wing stripes, and orange patches on the hind wings.

The Spicebush shrub, on which the larvae of this species of butterfly feed, inspired its name. The Spicebush Swallowtail is renowned for its intriguing behavior and beautiful appearance. 

As a means of defense, they are known to engage in mimicry, in which they will resemble other butterfly species.

When you next visit Maine’s stunning wildlife areas, keep an eye out for these  butterflies in Maine

9. Common Wood Nymph

Common Wood-Nymph
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Common Wood Nymph butterflies can be found in abundance in the meadows, fields, and forests of Maine.

Its wings are light brown with slight orange and white patches, and its wingspan can be between 1.5 and 2.5 inches. 

The long, slender antennae of the Common Wood Nymph are one of its most distinguishing characteristics.

One more is its unpredictable flight pattern, which makes it difficult to see and examine up close.

But if you’re fortunate enough to witness this butterfly, pay attention to its beauty and distinction from other Maine butterfly species.

10. White Admiral

White Admiral
by Dakiny is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A stunning species of butterfly that lives in Maine is the White Admiral. Its distinctive coloring includes dark brown wings with white streaks on them.

These butterflies can be seen in wooded places, particularly close to water sources like streams or ponds. They are known to fly gently, pausing to eat nectar from flowers or leaves.

A tiny, black egg placed on a host plant like a willow or birch is the first stage of the White Admiral’s life cycle.

After emerging, the caterpillar undergoes several molts before entering its pupal stage.

After that, the butterfly breaks free of its chrysalis, extends its wings, and transitions into adulthood.

11. Monarch

Monarch Butterfly
by docentjoyce is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Lastly, the monarch butterfly in Maine, possibly one of the most well-known in North America, is frequently seen in Maine during its migration season.

Due to their remarkable black and orange color, which helps them fend off predators, these beautiful insects are simple to identify.

Monarch butterflies are especially well-known for their annual long-distance migration, which takes them from Canada to Mexico.

Monarchs are stunning creatures with amazing mobility, but they also significantly impact the ecosystem.

These butterflies serve as pollinators, enabling a variety of plants to produce the seeds and fruits that other animals eat.

Unfortunately, habitat degradation and other concerns have led to a drop in monarch populations in recent years. 


Let me conclude by saying that various butterflies can be found in Maine, and it might be exhilarating to see one in the wild.

In addition to a handful of the more unusual and rare species, I have given you an overview of some of Maine’s most often encountered butterflies.

You’ll discover all the various butterfly species that may be found in Maine, from the vivid orange Tiger Swallowtail to the delicate White Admiral.

Happy reading on the list of butterflies in Maine!

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