37 Types of Butterflies in Ohio

Types of Butterflies in Ohio
Photo by Meg Jerrard

At the last count, there are 37 Types of Butterflies in Ohio  (see the list below). Though Ohio butterflies can be found in many habitats across the state, some are more commonly seen than others.

So if you’re looking to see some of the most common butterflies in Ohio, take note of these species when planning your next butterfly-watching expedition.

1. Monarch

The Monarch is one of the most recognizable Types of Butterflies in Ohio.  The Monarch has a wingspan that ranges from 2.4 to 3.3 inches and is typically found east of the Rocky Mountains during the summer months, although it can also be seen as far north as Canada and south into Mexico. 

The Monarch’s coloration makes it so recognizable: Types of Butterflies in Ohio have wings that are mostly bright orange with black stripes, but they can also come in colors such as white, tan, brown, or even red. This striking coloration makes the Monarch one of Ohio’s most well-known types of butterflies!

2. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is a giant butterfly found in Ohio. These types of Butterflies in Ohio are also the state insect for Maryland. The adult Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has a wingspan of 4.5 inches and a body length of 2 inches. 

They have black spots on their upper wings and white stripes on their lower wings, usually green or blue-green with yellow markings. If you’re lucky, you’ll see one fly by!

3. Black Swallowtail

The black swallowtail is a common sight for those who live in Ohio. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio can be seen from the late spring through the fall and are especially noticeable during the summer months when they hunt for food.

While they are primarily located throughout the eastern United States, there have been sightings as far west as Texas. 

There are multiple reasons why these butterflies migrate during certain times of the year: some do it for mating purposes or because of a lack of food, while others do it because their habitat has changed or to escape cold temperatures.

4. Pearl Crescent

The pearl crescent is a type of butterfly found in the Eastern United States, including Ohio. Pearl crescents have black wings that have a single row of white spots.

When the butterflies are at rest, they fold their wings, with their forewings covering the hindwings, 

One exciting thing about these types of Butterflies in Ohio is that they are usually seen resting on rocks or other hard surfaces like fences and tree trunks.

It’s common to find more than one pearl crescent at a time per location too. It can be tricky to spot them, though,h because they blend into their surroundings well!

5. Zabulon Skipper

Many types of butterflies inhabit the state of Ohio. The most common among the Types of Butterflies in Ohio is the Zabulon skipper, which can be found in almost every county.

The Zabulon skipper is a blue or green butterfly with orange veins on its wings and black spots on its outermost edge.

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are often found near wetlands, rivers, and other water sources because it feeds on wetland plants.

If you have seen a butterfly close to your home with these physical traits, it is most likely a Zabulon skipper.

6. Silver-Spotted Skipper

The silver-spotted skipper is a small butterfly with a wingspan of about 2.5 inches. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are primarily found in fields, meadows, and open areas where the larval host plants grow.

It has a distinctive white dot on the bottom wing, which is why it is also called the silver-dot skipper. They congregate near their host plants in late summer and form large groups before hibernating over winter.

7. Cabbage White

The Cabbage White is also ubiquitous among the types of Butterflies in Ohio found on these shores and can be seen as early as April and as late as October. It’s also the only butterfly that can be found in Ohio year-round.

Cabbage White is named for the white spots on its wings, resembling cabbage seeds. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are usually seen flying low over fields, meadows, woods, lawns, and gardens, feeding on nectar from flowers.

Caterpillars are easily identifiable by their green color, with a yellow stripe down the center and a redhead. As larvae, they eat voraciously through six stages or instars before forming a pupa or chrysalis, from which they’ll emerge as butterflies when it’s warm enough outside.

8. Peck’s Skipper

Peck’s Skipper is a small butterfly living near streams and ponds. It has a wingspan of just over an inch and can be found worldwide in Ohio. Peck’s Skippers are brown with white spots on their wings. 

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio live primarily among shade-loving plants but sometimes enter into open spaces like fields or forest edges.

Peck’s Skippers often fly high up into the air, and they can sometimes be difficult to spot when lying around flowers or resting on leaves.

9. Red-Spotted Admiral

The red-spotted admiral, also known as Vanessa atalanta, is a butterfly found throughout North America. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are common in the summer and can be seen flying near flowers.

The dorsal side of this butterfly is gray with spots, and the ventral side has a row of orange spots that run from the head to the thorax.

The wingspan for these butterflies ranges from 1.5 inches to 2 inches. These butterflies are migratory and are seen flying around during the summer months before heading south for winter.

10. Red Admiral

The Red Admiral is a medium-sized butterfly that lives mainly in the eastern United States. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are also considered among the most accessible because they have distinctive black and white markings on their wings. 

Adults are known for feeding on nectar from flowers and plants, but they can also feed on decaying fruit or sap. The larvae live inside their host plant’s roots, feeding off them until they pupate and emerge as adults.

11. Eastern Tailed-Blue

The Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly is one of the most beautiful common types of Butterflies in Ohio. They are usually blue with a black border on the wings and have an orange patch on their backside.

This butterfly can be found throughout North America but thrives best near cedar trees, which is why they are so popular world wild. 

Females will lay their eggs under cedar tree bark during the springtime, so it is common to see them around this time.

The Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly has also been on the endangered species list since 1999 but has since recovered due to conservation efforts by some organizations like Monarch Watch.

12. Viceroy

The Viceroy is the most well-known mimic or a butterfly that mimics another butterfly’s appearance. For example, these Types of Butterflies in Ohio imitate the Monarch, their main predator. The Viceroy lays its eggs on milkweed plants, where the Monarchs also lay their eggs. 

This helps ensure both butterflies have enough food to survive and reproduce. However, unlike Monarchs, Viceroys are not toxic at all! This means predators can eat them without any harm coming to them.

13. Spicebush Swallowtail

The Spicebush Swallowtail is mainly found on the Eastern seaboard and flies close to the ground. The upper side of their wings is dark brown or black, while the lower side is reddish orange with yellow spots.

The larvae feed on leaves from plants like spicebush and other members of the Rutaceae family. 

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio have been on the decline for many years, but there are now efforts to help them through conservation efforts by planting more spicebushes and other types of plants that attract this type of swallowtail. Hopefully, these efforts will help bring back this beautiful creature!

14. Eastern Comma

Eastern Comma butterflies are found in the eastern United States and Canada and are one of the first to emerge from the winter season.

Eastern Commas can be seen from May to September, with most sightings occurring between July and August.

Eastern Comma butterflies are often confused with the Virginia Creeper butterfly, as they share similar colors and patterns. 

But Virginia Creepers have dark veins on their wings, while Eastern Commas don’t. The tips of their wingtips also differ – Eastern Comma wings end squarely or sometimes taper slightly towards a pointed tip. In contrast, Virginia Creeper wings have an angled edge that tapers gradually towards the sharp point.

15. Great Spangled Fritillary

The Great Spangled Fritillary is also one of 37 types of Butterflies in Ohio. It has wings with a dark brown base and orange spots and bands. 

Male Great Spangled Fritillaries have silver spots on their forewings that females lack. Males also have thicker antennae than females.

This butterfly can be found from Quebec to Florida but is most commonly seen in the eastern United States.

16. Common Buckeye

In the Midwest, you will find the Common Buckeye butterfly. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are one of the most accessible because they have two distinctive wing markings shaped like eyes and are usually orange or yellow. These wings make the Common Buckeye one of the most identifiable butterflies in Ohio. 

Common Buckeyes live for about a month and can be found all over North America and Central and South America.

They typically inhabit moist deciduous forests where they can find food from wild blackberries, red clover, violets, and blueberries.

17. Summer Azure

The summer azure is one of Ohio’s most common Types of Butterflies. The wingspan ranges from 1.5 to 2.0 inches, and the body has yellow spots with black borders on the underside.

This butterfly can be found feeding on nectar plants, and some species are attracted to certain types of flowers like honeysuckle, lilac, aster, and goldenrod. 

This butterfly is mostly seen flying around from May through August and is known for its habit of hovering just above ground level when it lands after feeding.

18. Hackberry Emperor

The Hackberry Emperor is a butterfly that lives primarily in North America. It’s named after the hackberry tree, one of its favorite habitats. 

With a wingspan of about three inches, it has an orange body with black spots and bands on its wings.

The Hackberry Emperor can be found all over North America, though These Types of Butterflies in Ohio prefer warmer climates like those in Texas and Mexico.

19. Orange Sulphur

Orange Sulphur is also among the most common types of Butterflies in Ohio that people see. They have an orange color on their wings, with yellow stripes. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio can be found in wooded areas and gardens. 

The larvae feed on plants like Milkweed, goldenrod, and wild carrot. Adults live for about two to three weeks. One female orange sulphur can lay up to 700 eggs.

It takes about ten days for them to hatch into caterpillars. Orange Sulphurs are drawn to nectar from flowers like Queen Anne’s lace, sunflowers, dandelions, and asteraceae.

20. Question Mark

One of the different types of Butterflies in Ohio you can find is the question mark. This type has different color variations, but usually, it has shades of brown, tan, or black on its wings. The question mark is found throughout North America and is mainly near milkweed plants.

When they are done feeding on the Milkweed, they fold their wings together and rest with their heads pointed down. So if you see one, give it space because these butterflies are not very aggressive.

21. Painted Lady

The painted Lady is among the most common types of Butterflies in Ohio. It has orange and black wings and is known for its erratic flight pattern.

The painted Lady is also called a cosmopolitan butterfly because it can be found worldwide, including in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The painted Lady gets its name because it often rests on rocks or tree stumps with its wings held upright to dry after rainstorms.

The larvae are green with yellow stripes along their sides. They feed primarily on members of the mustard family, including shepherd’s purses, dandelions, and clovers.

22. Clouded Sulphur

Clouded Sulphur is one of the most common types of Butterflies in Ohio and can be found throughout the state. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are usually yellow or orange with black or dark brown markings on their wings. 

In the eastern US, Clouded Sulphurs primarily feed on milkweed plants, while they primarily feed on thistles in the western US.

So if you spot one around your home and want to help it with its habitat needs, you can plant Milkweed around it for them to feed on.

23. Least Skipper

The most common Least Skipper butterfly is found throughout North America. These  Types of Butterflies in Ohio have a wingspan of about two inches and are usually brown with white or dark markings. 

The Least Skipper is usually found on flowers and can be spotted from May through August. The name Least Skipper comes from the fact that it is the minor type of skipper butterfly, but this does not deter it from being just as beautiful as the others.

24. Little Wood Satyr

The Little Wood Satyr is one of the smaller butterflies found in Ohio. It’s still that it could fit on your fingertip.

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio usually have pale green wings with white spots, but other variare canning across woodlands or meadows. 

The male and female Little Wood Satyrs look alike, but the males have brighter colors. Unfortunately, they also live for about two weeks as adults before they die, which means they only have time to mate once or twice during their short lives.

25. Sachem

Sachem butterflies are typically found in the eastern United States and Canada. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio have black and yellow stripes on their wings, with one line across the lower area that extends from the top of the wing to just below its body.

The Sachem is called Seven because these stripes extend from its head to its rear end. The average Sachem is about 2 inches wide with a wingspan of about 3 inches.

Sachem butterflies are typically found in the eastern United States and Canada.

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio have black and yellow stripes on their wings, with one line across the lower area that extends from the top of the wing to just below its body. The Sachem is called Seven because these stripes extend from its head to its rear end. 

The Sachem butterfly, also known as Common Green Darner, is one of Ohio’s most common  Types of Butterflies.

They are large and green with long tails on their hind wings. They can be found throughout North America and are active during the day. They may overwinter through high temperatures and dry periods.

26. Northern Pearly-Eye

The Northern Pearly-Eye is black with white spots and has a wingspan of 2.5 to 3 centimeters wingspan. It can be found in northern Ohio and southern Ont. 

These types of Butterflies in Ohio feed on elm, linden, oak, and birch leaves and can typically be seen from May to July. They then pupate on the ground or under leaves until they emerge as adults in August or September.

27. Wild Indigo Duskywing

The Wild Indigo Duskywing is one of the most common butterflies in Ohio. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are brown with dark purple on top and lighter brown underneath, with an eye spot on each wing. Female butterflies are more significant than males. 

The life cycle from egg to adulthood can take 3 weeks to 9 months, depending on the weather. Females lay eggs on the underside of leaves near host plants for caterpillars to eat. The larvae eat the leaves for about 7 days before pupating and emerging as adults after 2–4 weeks.

28. Meadow Fritillary

Meadow fritillaries are medium to large butterflies with orange and white wings. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are found from the eastern US to southern Canada, but they’re most common here in Ohio. The males often have more extensive markings than the females, and their wingspan is about 3 inches. 

Meadow fritillaries like open areas like meadows and clearings, where they feed on nectar plants like Milkweed, making their colors vibrant.

When it comes time to lay eggs, they lay them on certain types of plants that the caterpillars will eat when they hatch.

29. Silvery Checkerspot

The silvery checkerspot is one of the most common types of butterflies in Ohio, and it’s easy to spot with its white wings and black spots on them.

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio have short antennae and three ocelli, yellow circles on the wingtips. The larvae feed on many plants in gardens, meadows, parks, fields, and more!

30. Fiery Skipper

The Fiery Skipper is one of Ohio’s most common types of Butterflies. They feed on flower nectar, and larvae eat aphids, spiders, and other insects. Females lay their eggs on plants that the larvae can eat when they hatch.

The larva pupates on leaves and then emerges as an adult to mate and start the cycle again. The life span of an adult butterfly can be up to 8 months, with some living only a few days.

Males are distinguished from females by their wing color; males have dark wings, while females have light ones.

31. Common Checkered-Skipper

The Common Checkered-Skipper (Euphydryas chalcedona) is Ohio’s most common and recognizable butterfly.

Adults are 5 to 6 centimeters from wingtip to wingtip and vary from light yellow to orange, with black spots on their forewings. 

The males have more prominent spots than the females do. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio species are also among the few butterflies seen yearly.

They feed on herbaceous plants such as Milkweed and dandelions, but they sometimes drink nectar from flowers such as lilacs and honeysuckle.

32. Zebra Swallowtail

The Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly is one of the most popular most widespread in Ohio. They are black and white striped with yellow on their wings.

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio can be found year-round but are mostly seen from April to November. 

33. Common Wood-Nymph

Like other wood nymphs, the Common Wood Nymph is a woodland creature that prefers to stay hidden. These Types of Butterflies in Ohi are seen only occasionally and usually too far away for you to see their wings. This butterfly likes to live in deciduous forests with many trees and shrubs. 

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio live near the ground, so it is not unusual for them to fly over your head without being noticed.

The Common Wood Nymphs can be found throughout the United States and Canada during the warmer months, but it is thought that they migrate south when winter sets in.

34. Eastern Giant Swallowtail

The Eastern Giant Swallowtail, one of the most widespread butterfly species in North America, is also one of the largest.

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio usually measure 2 to 3 inches across and are found throughout the eastern United States. 

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio can be seen from spring to fall and are common in most habitats where host plants are found.

The caterpillar, which has been reported to reach nearly 6 inches long and as thick as an index finger, feeds primarily on parsley family plants like parsley, dill, fennel, and carrot plants.

35. Bronze Copper

Bronze Copper is the most common types of Butterflies in Ohio found on the state’s prairies. Larvae feed on bluegrass, and adults visit flowers such as Queen Anne’s lace, Milkweed, and thistles.

They can also be seen eating from mud puddles during dry weather or taking shelter under overhanging branches. 

Bronze Coppers are one of the few butterflies that have an apparent change from larval to adult. The larvae are primarily green with brown stripes, while adults are brown with orange spots or stripes across their wings.

36. Little Glassywing

The Little Glassywing is a small butterfly that can be found across North America. These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are usually very dark, sometimes almost black, and have white spots on the topside of the forewings. 

The underside has rows of tiny white spots that create an eye pattern. The female’s wingspan is about 2 inches (5 cm). Males are slightly smaller than females, with less distinct eye markings on the undersides.

37. Banded Hairstreak

The Banded Hairstreak lives in lowland wet meadows, where their caterpillars feed on plants such as Milkweed.

The caterpillar is brown with black and white stripes and has hair on its body that stands up to make it look like it is wearing a little cap. 

When it grows more significant, the caterpillar attaches itself to the ground utilizing silken threads and pupates inside the cocoon.

These Types of Butterflies in Ohio are commonly found from June through September and are active during the day.

Conclusion

In the United States, there are more than 1500 species of butterflies. The variety is more significant in the tropics, with more than 20,000 species. There are 37 different types of Butterflies in Ohio that can be found year-round.

The monarch butterfly is my favorite type. You can find it here. These types of Butterflies in Ohio migrate from Canada to Mexico and back every year.

This type is seen year-round because they hibernate during winter and become active when the weather gets warm again. Another butterfly is called the tiger swallowtail butterfly….. Which one is your favorite?

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