Western Canada

Egg

Milkweed sap

  • White.
  • Irregular shapes and sizes.
  • No longitudinal raised ridges.
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Adults

Swallowtails

Distinguishing features:

  • Large (5 to 10 cm).
  • “Tails” on hindwings.
  • Bright yellow wings with black markings.

Similar species:

  • Canadian Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio canadensis
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus
  • Old World Swallowtail – Papilio machaon
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Coppers

Distinguishing features:

  • Small (3 to 4 cm).
  • Rounded wings.
  • Dark spots but no visible veins on wings.

Similar species:

  • American Copper –Lycaena phlaeas
  • Bronze Copper – Lycaena hyllus
  • Purplish copper – Lycaena helloides
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Fritillaries

Distinguishing features :

  • Average size (about 6 to 8 cm).
  • Rounded wings.
  • Wing borders sometimes dark, but no white spots like monarchs.
  • Brownish-orange body.
  • Wings dotted with black spots.

Similar species

  • Great Spangled Fritillary – Speyeria cybele
  • Aphrodite Fritillary – Speyeria aphrodite
  • Atlantis Fritillary – Speyeria atlantis
  • Northwestern Fritillary – Speyeria hesperis
  • Variegated Fritillary – Euptoieta claudia
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Other fritillaries

Distinguishing features:

  • Small (about 4 to 5 cm).
  • Dark wing patterns – circles, dots, splotches (but no wide black veins like monarchs).
  • Brownish-orange body.

Similar species :

  • Bog Fritillary – Boloria eunomia dawsonii
  • Silver-bordered Fritillary – Boloria selene
  • Meadow Fritillary – Boloria bellona
  • Frigga Fritillary – Boloria frigga
  • Freija Fritillary – Boloria freija
  • Arctic Fritillary – Boloria chariclea
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Checkerspots

Distinguishing features: :

  • Small to average size (up to 5.5 cm).
  • Under surface of wings pale with complex spot and circle patterns.
  • Very wide black borders on upper surface of wings, with dark spots in the centre of the forewings.
  • Brownish-orange body.

Similar species :

  • Silvery Checkerspot–Chlosyne nycteis
  • Harris’ Checkerspot – Chlosyne harrisii
  • Gorgone Checkerspot- Chlosyne gorgone
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Commas

Distinguishing species:

  • Average to large size, but smaller than monarchs (about 5 to 6.5 cm).
  • Irregular shape, lacy wings.
  • Well-defined dark spots on upper surface of wings.
  • Under surface of wings darker and duller, with indistinct markings.
  • Body usually brownish-orange. Some species have a dark brown body, but never black like monarchs.

Similar species :

  • Question Mark – Polygonia interrogationis
  • Eastern Comma – Polygonia comma
  • Satyr Comma – Polygonia satyrus
  • Green Comma – Polygonia faunus
  • Hoary Comma – Polygonia gracilis
  • Grey Comma – Polygonia progne
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Painted ladies and admirals

Distinguishing features:

  • Average size (6 to 6.4 cm).
  • White spots on upper surface of wings.
  • Various colours and complex patterns on wings.
  • No black veins on wings.
  • Body orange, brownish or brown.

Similar species :

  • American Painted Lady – Vanessa virginiensis
  • Painted Lady – Vanessa cardui
  • Red Admiral – Vanessa atalanta
  • Compton Tortoiseshell – Nymphalis vaualbum
  • Milbert’s Tortoiseshell – Aglais milberti
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Crescents

Distinguishing features :

  • Small (less than 4.5 cm).
  • Rounded wings.
  • Brown or orange body.
  • Under surface of wings paler with less-defined patterns.

Similar species :

  • Pearl Crescent – Phyciodes tharos
  • Northern Crescent – Phyciodes cocyta
  • Tawny Crescent – Phyciodes batesii
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