US Official State Butterflies Designations

Official State Butterflies (Insect Order Lepidoptera).

Butterflies belong to the insect order Lepidoptera. The word "Lepidoptera" is derived from a Greek word meaning "scale wing." The butterfly wing scales create the wonderful colors and patterns observed in butterfly wings. There are 165,000 species of Lepidoptera worldwide, but of those, only about 24,000 are butterflies!

Butterflies range in size from a tiny 1/8 inch to a huge almost 12 inches. Most adult butterflies only live one or two weeks. Adult butterflies use flower nectar as a food source. To obtain nectar, a butterfly's mouth (proboscis) is a long tube it keeps rolled up until ready for use, and is then used as a straw. Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.

Despite their small size, butterflies are some of the world's most wondrous animals, their beauty, seemingly miraculous metamorphosis, and apparently carefree flight conjures up images of sunshine, the warmth and color of flowery meadows, and summer gardens teaming with life. Moths are one of the most diverse group of insects on earth, ranging from spectacular Hawk-moths to small, intricately patterned Footman moths.

Sadly, four butterflies and over 60 moths became extinct during the last 150 years.

Find images, descriptions, taxonomic hierarchy, and a history of the state butterflies representing the state insect or butterfly symbols for each of the 50 states. Lists their basic characteristics, including adoption date, picture, state code, description, characteristics, range and habitat, habits, life cycle, status, and taxonomic hierarchy.

Official State Butterflies Designation

State Symbols

Butterfly - Species - Adopted

Alabama Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio glaucus)
Alabama State Mascot & Butterfly
- May 2, 1989
Alaska NA
Arizona Two-tailed Swallowtail
(Papilio multicaudata)
Arizona State Butterfly
- May 9, 2001
Arkansas Diana fritillary butterfly
(Speyeria diana)
Arkansas State Butterfly
- 2007
California NA
Colorado NA
Connecticut NA
Delaware Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio glaucous)
Delaware State Butterfly
- Jun 10, 1999
Florida Zebra Longwing
(Heliconius charitonius)
Florida State Butterfly
- 1996
Georgia Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio glaucus)
Georgia State Butterfly
- 1988
Hawaii NA
Idaho NA
Illinois NA
Indiana NA
Iowa NA
Kansas NA
Kentucky Viceroy Butterfly
(Basilarchia archippus)
Kentucky State Butterfly
- 1990
Lousiana NA
Maine NA
Maryland NA
Massachusetts NA
Michigan NA
Minnesota Monarch Butterfly
(Danaus plexippus)
Minnesota State Butterfly
- 2000
Mississippi Spicebush Swallowtail
(Battus philenor)
Mississippi State Butterfly
- 1991
Missouri NA
Montana Mourning Cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa)
Montana State Butterfly
- 2001
Nebraska NA
New Hampshire Karner Blue Butterfly
(Lycaeides melissa, subspecies samuelis)
New Hampshire State Butterfly
- 1992
New Jersey Black Swallowtail Butterfly
(Papilio polyxenes)
New Jersey State Butterfly - 2016
New Mexico Sandia Hairstreak
(Callophrys mcfarlandi Ehrlich & Clench)
New Mexico State Butterfly
- 2003
New York NA
North Carolina Eastern tiger swallowtail
(Papilio glaucous)
North Carolina State Butterfly
- 2012
North Dakota NA
Nevada NA
Ohio NA
Oklahoma Black Swallowtail
(Papilio polyxenes)
Oklahoma State Butterfly
- Nov 1, 1996
Oregon NA
Pennsylvania NA
Rhode Island NA
South Carolina Tiger Swallowtail
(Pterourus Glaucus)
South Carolina State Butterfly - 1994
South Dakota NA
Tennessee Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
(Eurytides marcellus)
Tennessee State Butterfly
- 1975
Texas NA
Utah NA
Vermont Monarch Butterfly
(Danaus plexippus)
Vermont State Butterfly
- Jul 1, 1987
Virginia NA
Washington NA
West Virginia Monarch Butterfly
(Danaus plexippus)
West Virginia State Butterfly
- Mar 1, 1995
Wisconsin NA
Wyoming Sheridan's Green Hairstreak
(Callophrys sheridanii)
Wyoming State Butterfly
- 2009
Eighteen states have adopted the Honeybee as their official state insect.
The Monarch Butterfly makes a strong showing with seven states designating this beautiful insect as either an official state "insect" or an official state "butterfly."
State Insects,
Butterflies, and Bugs
State Insects,
State insects are selected by 45 states of the 50 United States. Some states have more than one designated insect, or have multiple categories (e.g., state insect and state butterfly, etc.).