This blog post is the beginning of a catalog of backyard butterflies, to help you ID your fluttering friend. We will add to this all spring and summer, as we discover new butterflies in the garden. Come on this journey with us and learn something new!



Swallowtail butterfly (subfamily Papilioninae)





Butterfly ID: Swallowtail butterfly (subfamily Papilioninae)

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly


The swallowtail butterflies (Papilio) are found worldwide except in the Arctic. They are named for the characteristic tail-like extensions of the hindwings, although many species are tailless. There are several different species, all with slightly different colouring. This one is a Tiger Swallowtail (Canadian TIGER SWALLOWTAIL).

Adult Food: Nectar from flowers.

Habitat: Northern deciduous and evergreen-deciduous woods and forest edges, as well as flower gardens.




kaleidoscope of Butterflies puddling!


A group of butterflies is often called a kaleidoscope, how psychedelic!

..it is also called a rabble, flutter, or a swarm.



Butterflies need Nectar but they also need other minerals! By sipping moisture from mud puddles, or in this case a wet sandy beach, butterflies take in salts and minerals from the soil. This is called puddling, and is mostly seen in male butterflies.


This is the reason why we like going out into nature everyday, we never know what we will discover. Even in the exact same spots, things look different. There are different bugs, birds, wildflowers and in this case butterflies!





Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)



Wingspan 50 – 70 mm


Did you know that most butterflies have an underside that looks different than the open wing? The upper side is black with white median bands on both wings; tip of forewing is orange, making it recognizable by that feature. The under side is reddish-brown with white markings. Wing Span: 2 - 2 5/8 inches (5.1 - 6.7 cm).



This butterfly is one of the ”signature” butterflies of British Columbia’s west coast and interior. It seems approachable and often is seen by itself, and possibly is a solitary butterfly.


This butterfly is named after Pierre Joseph Michel Lorquin, a French naturalist who came to California from France during the Gold Rush, and made important discoveries on the natural history of the terrain.


Painted lady Vanessa cardui


The painted Lady Butterfly is the most widespread of all butterfly species. It is commonly called the painted lady, or formerly in North America the cosmopolitan.

credit Wikipedia: Lifespan: 15 – 29 days (From egg to death, In the wild) Scientific name: Vanessa cardui Order: Lepidoptera Family: Nymphalidae