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American copper - Lycaena phlaeas

Small butterfly that often sits on low vegetation with wings open. Males are territorial. May be confused with larger bronze copper, but bronze is duller colored.

General Description: Forewing has iridescent, fiery orange color with black markings. Hindwing is gray or brown, with red-orange border.

Eastern tailed blue - Everes comyntas

Very small butterfly with tail on hindwing. When sitting, it moves hindwings back and forth to simulate antennae wiggling on false head. Tails are often missing. May be confused with several other blues or hairstreaks, but markings are distinctive.

General Description: Male is iridescent blue. Female is brown. Underside of hindwing has 2 large orange spots on outer margin near tail.

Black swallowtail— Papilio polyxenes

Smaller than other dark-colored swallowtails in Illinois with more yellow markings. Could be confused with spicebush swallowtail, dark phase female of tiger swallowtail, or pipevine swallowtail, that lack the submarginal yellow band. Slow flier that visits flowers.

General Description: Primarily black (both sexes) with black pupil centered in red-orange eyespot on inner margin of hindwings. Male: submarginal yellow band on forewing. Some blue on hindwing. Female: submarginal row of yellow spots on forewing and iridescent blue submarginal band on hindwing. markings are distinctive.

Meadow fritillary - Boloria (Clossiana) bellona

A small fritillary that often sits with its wings outspread. Sometimes difficult to see the dull underside. Has wider distribution than silver-bordered fritillary. May be confused with silver-bordered fritillary, which has metallic underside.

General Description: Small orange butterfly with broken black markings. Underside is dull with hindwing purple-brown in color.

Silver -bordered fritillary- Boloria (Clossiana) selene

A small fritillary that often sits with its wings outspread. Sometimes difficult to see the silvery underside. Confined mostly to northern Illinois. May be confused with meadow fritillary which lacks metallic underside.

General Description: Small orange butterfly with broken black markings. Underside is distinctive as it is the only small fritillary with metallic silver spots on hindwing; spots flash when it flies.

Variegated fritillary - Euptoieta claudia

A medium-sized fritillary with pointed wings that flies low with shallow wingbeats. It often flutters its wings when feeding at flowers. This species has a somewhat more angular and paler appearance than other fritillaries. It is unlikely to be confused with other species.

General Description: Orange to orange-tan with black markings and marginal spots between veins. Marginal lighter strip through both wings. Underside has no silver spots.

Great-spangled fritillary Speyeria cybele

A common large fritillary often seen feeding at flowers. Usually sits with wings closed. May be confused with smaller Aphrodite fritillary, but this speces lacks pale submarginal band on underside of hindwing.

General Description: Large orange butterfly. From base outward color grades from orange-brown to bright orange. Has intricate black markings with black spots in postmarginal region of wings. Underside of hindwing has broad, pale submarginal band and white spots.

Regal fritillary—Speyeria idalia

Large fritillary usually found in sand prairies or other places where bird’s foot violet grows. Rare in Illinois, but may be locally common. Not easy to confuse with any other fritillary.

General Description: Large red-orange butterfly with ornate black marks on forewing. Hindwing black with postmedian row of white spots and submarginal row of orange spots (male) or white spots (female).

 

Dainty sulphur—Nathalis iole

Forewings are long and narrow. This pale yellow butterfly is very small. Not easy to confuse with other sulphurs, but note that a very rare white form exists. Also, seasonal variation is likely to occur.

General Description: Apex of pale yellow forewing is black. Black bar along inner margin of forewing. Hindwing may have some black.

Little sulphur(yellow)— Eurema lisa

Small sulphur. Note that a white form exists and that sexes are different. Could be confused with orange sulphur or clouded sulphur. These two are larger, more common, and have more dark markings on forewings.

General Description: Yellow with black outer margins (thicker on forewing apex) and small black spot in cell on forewings.

 

Dogface sulphur—Colias (Zerene) caesonia

Same size or slightly smaller than cloudless sulphur. Apex of wing more pointed. Somewhat slower flyer. Markings unmistakable. Female might be confused with female orange and clouded sulphurs.

General Description: Yellow dog’s head mark on forewing outlined in black. Mark is more diffused in female, but still present. Underside may have pink tone.

Cloudless sulphur—Phoebis sennae

Large, fast-flying, iridescent yellow sulphur with few black markings. Seldom sits still. Not easy to confuse with other sulphurs.

General Description: Bright, lemon-yellow butterfly. Underside of hindwing has two centered silver spots with a pink rim. Male has no black markings; female has hollow black spot in cell.

Common wood nymph—Cercyonis pegala

Flies with a low, hopping flight, usually through vegetation. Seldom seen on flowers. May be confused with dark buckeye, but has very different flight characteristics. Also, resembles little wood satyr, but wood nymph is much darker and larger. General Description: Medium-sized dark brown butterfly. Forewing has two submarginal yellow-rimmed spots that are larger on the underside. Some examples will have eyespots in a large yellow band across forewings (inset).

Pearl crescent—Phyciodes tharos

A small, very common nymphalid butterfly that usually does not frequent flowers. It sits on moist ground or on plants. Could be confused with much rarer silvery and Gorgone checkerspots.

General Description: Black antennal clubs. Upperside is orange broken by fine, black, lacy marks. Appears maplike. Male underside pale orange with dark patch on outer margin of hindwing. Female underside more checkered.

 

Buckeye—Junonia coenia

About the same size as painted lady. Usually seen visiting flowers. Has distinct eyespots. Not likely to be confused with other species.

General Description: Brown butterfly with two orange bars outlined in black perpendicu-lar to costal margin of forewing. Large, white subapical bar in shape of number “6” surrounds large eyespot. Hindwing has two eyespots with the uppermost much larger with a magenta area.

Painted lady - Vanessa cardui

Medium-size nymphalid butterfly with rapid, erratic flight. Often visits flowers and sometimes rests with wings open to collect sunlight. May be confused with American painted lady, but painted has four small eyespots on underside.

General Description: Orange, pink, and black with white spots in forewing apex. Hindwing has black spots with occassional blue scales. Underside of hindwing has four small submarginal eyespots.

American painted lady - Vanessa virginiensis

Medium-size nymphalid butterfly with rapid, erratic flight. Often visits flowers and sometimes rests with wings open to collect sunlight. May be confused with painted lady, but American has only two large eyespots on underside.

General Description: Orange, pink, and black with white spots in forewing apex. White dot in orange patch just below black area at apex. Orange hindwing has at least some blue in black spots. Underside of hindwing has two large submarginal eyespots.

Monarch - Danaus plexippus

Perhaps the most familiar of all butterflies. Flight is slow and gliding. Frequently visits flowers. May be confused with viceroy. Viceroys are smaller, fly somewhat faster, and have a distinctive postmedian black line on hindwing.

General Description: Large, bright orange butterfly with black along