My Most Common Backyard Butterflies

It’s not an exaggeration to say that there are basically always butterflies in my Central Florida yard. We have a

It’s not an exaggeration to say that there are basically always butterflies in my Central Florida yard. We have a very tiny suburban lot and I set out to make it a haven for wildlife several years ago when we moved in. We’ve been very successful, and are now visited by literally dozens of butterflies each day. These are the five I see the most often:

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

 Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charithonia)

Polydamas Swallowtail (Battus polydamas)

Polydamas Swallowtail in Central Florida by Jill Staake

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebus sennae)

Cloudless Sulphur in Central Florida, by Jill Staake

What makes my tiny yard such a butterfly haven? I believe the key has been including host plants, the plants butterfly caterpillars feed on. Every butterfly I see regularly can find the right plant in my backyard for laying eggs. (To learn more about host plants, click here.) I have plenty of nectar plants for the adults, too, and we use absolutely no pesticides or herbicides. The butterflies reward my efforts every single day with their presence.

Butterfly species vary by region. What area are you in, and what are your most common butterflies? Tell us in the comments below!

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Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.