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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Butterflies of the Wells Reserve

Posted by | February 18, 2014 | Filed under: Observations

Often showy but frequently cryptic, butterflies are an attractive challenge.

During the early years of the Wells Reserve, butterflies drew attention from a few naturalists striving to characterize the site's diverse flora and fauna. The list they compiled was clearly incomplete, but still provided a foundation of 16 "species" for the reserve's Site Profile completed in 2006.

American Copper on the Knight Trail, June 8, 2012.
American Copper on the Knight Trail, June 8, 2012.

In 2007, the reserve joined the Maine Butterfly Survey, an intense 8-year study of the state's butterflies that wrapped up in 2014. This focused effort supplied well over 100 records representing 30+ species for the Wells Reserve.

Alongside the Maine Butterfly Survey, an informal network of butterfly watchers has begun to contribute sightings and photographs. The Wells Reserve (aka Laudholm Farm) accounts for many records on eButterfly, for example.

The following list is compiled from the Maine Butterfly Survey, eButterfly, Robert E. Gobeil, and other sources. As butterfly enthusiasts continue to add to citizen science databases, our knowledge of presence, abundance, and flight period will grow and we will endeavor to keep this list updated.

Butterflies of the Wells Reserve at Laudholm

Here are common and scientific names of species known to have occurred at the Wells Reserve and when to anticipate each one. The Maine Butterfly Survey provides a full list of Maine species and their flight periods.

  • Ask for a copy of our brochure, Common Butterflies of the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, when you're in the Visitor Center. Or download the butterfly brochure and our butterfly checklist as PDFs.

Family Hesperiidae (Skippers)

Northern Cloudywing Thorybes pylades — late May to mid-July
Wild Indigo Duskywing Erynnis baptisiae — mid-May to late August
Arctic Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon — mid-May to mid-July
European Skipper Thymelicus lineola — early June to mid-August
Indian Skipper Hesperia sassacus — late May to mid-July
Tawny-edged Skipper Polites themistocles — early June to late July
Long Dash Skipper Polites mystic — early June to mid-August
Northern Broken Dash Wallengrenia egeremet — late June to mid-August
Hobomok Skipper Poanes hobomok — early May to early August
Mulberry Wing Poanes massasoit — early July to mid-August
Dun Skipper Euphyes vestris — late June to late August
Dusted Skipper Atryonopsis hianna — late May to mid-June
Pepper & Salt Skipper Amblyscirtes hegon — late May to mid-July

Family Papilionidae (Swallowtails)

Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes — early May to early September
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucus — mid-June to late August
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Papilio canadensis — late May to early-August
Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus — mid-July to mid-August

Family Pieridae (Sulphurs & Whites)

Cabbage White Pieris rapae — early April to late October
Clouded Sulphur Colias philodice — early May to early November
Alfalfa Butterfly (Orange Sulphur) Colias eurytheme — mid May to mid November
Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae — mid August to mid September

Family Lycaenidae (Hairstreaks, Blues, Coppers, etc.)

Harvester Feniseca tarquinius — mid-May to late August
American Copper Lycaena phlaeas — mid-May to late October
Bog Copper Lycaena epixanthe — late June to mid-August
Eastern Tailed Blue Cupido comyntas — mid-May to mid-October
Northern Azure Celastrina lucia — late April to mid-September
Summer Azure Celastrina neglecta — early July to mid-September
Silvery Blue Glaucopsyche lygdamus — late April to mid-July

Family Nymphalidae (Monarchs, Fritillaries, Satyrs, etc.)

Monarch Danaus plexippus — early June to late October
Great Spangled Fritillary Speyeria cybele — mid-June to late September
Aphrodite Fritillary Speyeria aphrodite — late June to late September
Pearl Crescent Phyciodes tharos — early May to mid-October
Northern Pearl Crescent Phyciodes cocyta — late May to late September
Baltimore Checkerspot Euphydryas phaeton — mid June to late July
Common Buckeye Junonia coenia — late June to late October
Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis — mid-April to early November
Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa — mid-April to late October
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta — late April to late October
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui — late May to early October
American Lady Vanessa virginiensis — late April to late October
White Admiral Limenitis arthemis — mid May to September
Viceroy Limenitis archippus — late May to late September
Northern Pearly-Eye Enodia anthedon — late June to early September
Eyed Brown Satyrodes eurydice — late June to early August
Appalachian Brown Satyrodes appalachia — early July to late August
Little Wood Satyr Megisto cymela — late May to early August
Inornate Ringlet Coenonympha tullia — late May to early October
Common Wood Nymph Cercyonis pegala — mid-July to mid-September

American Lady on lilacAmerican Lady on groundPainted Lady in the handCrescent in the netPearl Crescent on the groundCopper in the hand


Maine Butterfly Survey

R Baston, A Baytas, S Bickford, P Bourget, P deMaynadier, M Junco, K McCurdy, H Scannell, P Snyder, M Ward

Thanks to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and other Maine Butterfly Survey partners for sharing the data.


A Aldrich, K Janes, S Richardson, B Watson

Independent Observers

Bob and Rose Marie Gobeil

Further Reading

Read blog entries tagged 'butterflies'

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