Online and Print Resources to Help Identify North American Butterflies
Have you ever spotted a butterfly and wondered what it was?
Here are several quality online and print resources to help you identify the winged ones.
eNature's butterfly field guide starts out with a list of different types of butterflies and even one section for caterpillars. Each type is displayed next to a grayscale image representing the type, making it easy to compare shapes.
Selecting a type displays short descriptions of each butterfly in that type, with accompanying photos. Clicking on the butterfly's Latin name takes you to a detailed page.
You can save each butterfly you find to a list, making it easier to compare.
The information is concise, yet thorough. Sometimes the language becomes a little scientific for casual wildlife watchers.
Pick a type of butterfly, and see a list of common butterflies of that type.
Clear and easily navigated, the material is, however, limited in scope. You also need to know the type of butterfly you're trying to identify -- something difficult for the casual observer.
Select a region of North America, and this site displays the butterflies most common to your area, along with colorful photographs.
Although not comprehensive, this site is quickly navigated and can be helpful for identifying common butterflies. Unfortunately, detailed information is not available, and the photo links are broken.
These are arguably the top four butterfly field guides:
- Stokes Butterfly Book : The Complete Guide to Butterfly Gardening, Identification, and Behavior
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies (National Audubon Society Field Guides)
- Peterson First Guide to Butterflies and Moths (Peterson First Guides (R))
- Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Field Guides)