Types of Butterflies in Alaska

There are about 75-80 species of butterflies found in Alaska. Among them, about 35-40 species live in Anchorage and the nearby Chugach Mountains. Most butterflies go through their life cycles in warmer climates. Some species flutter over entire North America, and some unique species, e.g., Phoebus Parnassian, can acclimate to cold temperatures. Alaskan butterflies can live over a year and are found everywhere, including the sea level and mountaintops.

Although Alaska does not have any state butterfly, it has officially designated Four-spot Skimmer Dragonfly as the state insect.

Brush-Footed (Nymphalidae)

  • Milbert’s Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis milberti)
  • Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
  • Green Comma (Polygonia faunus)
  • Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
  • Arctic Fritillary (Boloria chariclea)
  • Mountain Fritillary (Boloria napaea)
  • Silver-Bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene)
  • Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia)
  • Ross’s Alpine (Erebia rossii)
  • Field Crescent (Phyciodes pratensis)

Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae)

  • Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)
  • Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)
  • Northern Blue (Lycaeides idas)
  • Western Tailed Blue (Cupido (Everes) amyntula)

Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae)

  • Arctic White (Pieris angelika)
  • Western White (Pontia occidentalis)
  • Creamy Marblewing (Euchloe ausonides)
  • Palaeno Sulphur (Colias palaeno)
  • Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice vitabunda)
  • Christina’s Sulphur (Colias christina)
  • Giant Sulphur (Colias gigantea)
  • Pelidne Sulphur (Colias pelidne)
  • Labrador Sulphur (Colias nastes)
  • Canadian Sulphur (Colias canadensis)
  • Hecla Sulphur (Colias hecla)
  • Booth’s Sulphur (Colias tyche thula)

Swallotail (Papilionidae)

Skipper (Hesperiidae)

  • Perius Duskywing (Erynnis persius)
  • Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus centaureae)
  • Arctic Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon)
  • Common Branded Skipper (Hesperia comma)