Butterflies

Here is a list of butterflies species arranged by family.

Family Papilionidae

  • Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon nitra)
    grasslands; June

  • Tiger Swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus canadensis)
    June 4 to June 26

Family Pieridae

  • Western White (Pontia occidentalis)
    grasslands, disturbed areas; April 21 to September 17

  • Cabbage White (Artogeia rapae)
    grasslands, disturbed areas; May to early August

  • Common Sulphur (Colias philodice eriphyle)
    May 17 to September 6

  • Queen Alexandra's Sulphur (Colias alexandra astraea)
    grasslands and shrub communities; June 24 to August 25

Family Lycaenidae

  • Purplish Copper (Epidemia helloides)
    August 19 to September 6

  • Coral Hairstreak (Harkenclenus titus immaculosus)
    shrub communities; June 29 to August 23

  • Western Tailed Blue (Evers amyntula albrighti)
    aspen groves; June

  • Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus couperi)
    grasslands; May 10 to July 13

  • Melissa Blue (Lycaeides melissa)
    grasslands; June 5 to August 23

  • Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus amica)
    grasslands; June 5 to July 20

  • Common Blue (Icaricia icarioides pembina)
    grasslands; late June

  • Arctic Blue (Agriades franklinii rustica)
    grasslands; June 3 to July 6

Family Nymphalidae

  • Great Spangles Fritillary (Speyeria cybele pseudocarpenteri)
    July 9 to August 15

  • Aphrodite (Speyeria aphrodite)
    July 27 to August 23

  • Callippe Fritillary (Speyeria callippe calgaryiana)
    June 19 to July 26

  • Atlantis Fritillary (Speyeria atlantis beani)
    grasslands and shrub communities; June 7 to July 24

  • Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia)
    grasslands and shrub communities; June 3 to August 14

  • Meadow Fritillary (Clossiana bellona jenistae)
    grasslands and shrub communities; May 16 to June 4

  • Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa antiopa)
    aspen woods and shrub communities; April 21 to May 24, and August 19 to September 19.

  • Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Aglais milberti furcillata)
    aspen woods and shrub communities and disturbed grasslands; April 21 to August 31

  • Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
    mid May to late September

  • Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta rubria)
    June to August

  • White Admiral (Basilarchia arthemis rubrofasciata)
    aspen woods and shrub communities; June 1 to July 7

Family Satyridae

  • Prairie Ringlet (Coenonympha inornata benjamini)
    grasslands; June 3 to July 20

  • Large Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala into)
    grasslands; June 3 to July 30

  • Red-disked Alpine (Erebia discoidalis mcdunnoughi)
    May

  • Common Alpine (Erebia epipsodea)
    grasslands; May 29 to July 9

  • Uhler's Arctic (Oenesis uhleri varuna)
    grasslands; May 25 to June 23

  • Alberta Arctic (Oeneis alberta)
    grasslands; first 3 weeks of May

Prairie grasslands, wetlands such as bogs or marshes, sand dunes and undisturbed forests are the most populated butterfly habitats. Butterflies are very sensitive to any changes to their habitats, such as temperature, moisture or landscapes. This sensitivity makes them excellent indicators of the ecological conditions of a given area. Nose Hill Park has greatest number of butterflies recorded of any natural area in Calgary. As of 1995, 55 species have been identified, including 32 species in a day! Most species reside in the park, though there are seasonal butterflies, and those that have been windblown from other environments. Those butterfly species that prefer prairie grassland, shrub, and aspen parkland are the most common in Nose Hill Park. This habitat tends to be more common though there are rare case of butterflies from other habitats being identified. The ideal time to view butterflies on Nose Hill is bright sunny days between April and September. For further reading on butterflies you might like to try the following books:

Alberta Butterflies by Charles Durham Bird

Hooper, R.R. 1973 Butterflies of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Department of Natural Resources. Museum of Natural History, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Howe, W.H. 1975 The Butterflies of North America. Doubleday & Company Inc., New York, New York.

Source of information: 1988 Nose Hill: A Popular Guide. Calgary Field Naturalists' Society, Calgary, Alberta.Hallworth, Beryl (Ed.)