MA Butterflies

In the Spring, Summer and Fall I spend a lot of my time outside with a camera. I will photograph anything that holds still long enough to be photographed. But flowers and butterflies are a staple. Over the years I have photographed quite a few of the Butterflies that can be found in Eastern MA. I thought I would set up a page for the best of those images. In no particular order here are some of those photos. As a piece of trivia Butterflies are actually moths, and arose during the Eocene Epoch 40 to 50 million years ago in association with blooming plants.

American Copper 

American Lady

American Painted Lady
American Painted Ladies are not normally MA butterflies, but some years they extend their range and we have them for visitors, these photos were made in 2012 when a lot of them came visiting.

American Painted Lady - open wings

Baltimore Checkerspot

Red Admiral

Common Buckeye

Appalachian Brown
Little Wood Satyr


According to a book on Butterflies I recently read swallowtails are the oldest group of butterflies, the rest descended from them. They also tend to be larger butterflies, and some will hover while feeding from flowers so that they don't weigh them down. 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Note: The Canadian Tiger Swallowtail is a slightly smaller version of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail above. 

Black Swallowtail


Spring Azure

Spring Azure on Birdfoot Violet
Spring Azures have a wide variety of outer wing markings, which is why I added the 2nd photo.

Summer Azure

Summer Azure view of inner wing surface

The main difference between Spring and Summer Azures are the flight times, Spring are April to early/mid June, and Summer from late June/July to October. Summer's also often have lighter markings, as the example in the above photo.

Eastern Tailed Blue on Birdfoot Trefoil


Edwards Hairstreak

Banded Hairstreak

Striped Hairstreak

Grey Hairstreak

Juniper Hairstreak

As you can see there are several Hairstreak varieties, and I don't have all of them, yet.

Eastern Comma

Skippers are another large family of butterflies, they are mostly small around 1 inch, though the Silver Spotted is larger, many are very hard to tell apart and I am indebted to my fellow members of the Facebook Massachusetts Butterfly Group for identifications.

Little Glassywing

Least Skipper
This is a very small butterfly, it is feeding from a forget-me-not flower which is about 0.25 inches across. I don't think I have ever seen or photographed a smaller butterfly.

Long Dash

Mulberry Wing



Silver Spotted


Brown Elfin

Eastern Pine Elfin

Henery's Elfin

Hoary Elfin



Wild Indigo


Hope you enjoy these butterfly photographs, but please don't use any of these images without asking permission. If you would like to see more comparison photos of MA Butterflies visit NABA