Butterfly Resources

All About Butterflies

Butterfly Basics

The butterfly collection at the Field Museum of Natural History is a great place to learn about butterflies vs. moths, butterfly bodies, the butterfly life cycle, camouflage and mimicry, and butterfly conservation.

Butterfly Conservation

From the Woodland Park Zoo. Butterfly facts, behavior, life cycle, and how you can help with butterfly conservation. The Woodland Park Zoo is a Butterfly Conservation Initiative member.

Butterflies North and South

Resources for teachers, students and amateur lepidopterists, a glossary, tips on attracting butterflies to gardens, lesson plans, a bibliography, and links to butterfly sites around the world. The Amateurs' Corner suggests places for butterfly watching in North America.


For some wonderful butterfly photos, please visit the following sites. Be sure to acknowledge the generosity of the photographers who have provided these images by respecting their copyrights and requests.

Where are the butterflies?

The Butterflies of North America (U.S. Geological Survey) and Butterflies of Canada (from the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility) offer distribution maps, photos of both adults and caterpillars, and species accounts.

Butterfly Conservation

The AZA Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group promotes communication among professionals, institutions, and AZA members involved with the educational exhibition, conservation and captive propogation of invertebrates.

Why should we conserve butterflies? The Xerces Society explains why.

Butterfly Gardening

The Butterfly House offers a Butterfly Gardening fact sheet. The Butterfly House is a Butterfly Conservation Initiative member.

The National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Wildlife Habitat program shows you how to attract birds and butterflies to your backyard, schoolyard and communtity. The NWF is a Butterfly Conservation Initiative partner.

The Butterfly Farm's Butterfly Gardening Regional Guide identifies the most common butterflies by region and the nectar plants (flowers) and the host / larval plants for the caterpillars to eat.

Butterflies and Their Larval Food Plants lists the larval foodplants for most of the butterfly species and moths found in Orange County, CA.

Grow a Butterfly Garden from the American Museum of Natural History identifies host and nectar plants that attract butterflies in the Northeast.

Join Monarch Watch's "Monarch Waystations" program by providing an important milkweed and nectar-filled habitat patch along the monarch's migration corridors. Waystations can be certified.

For general butterfly gardening, visit the National Gardening Association.

Native Plants

Find your local North American Native Plant Society.

For a list of places to purchase native plants in Missouri and nearby states, visit Grow Native!, a program of the Missouri Department of Conservation that promotes the use of native plants.

Landscaping with Native Plants of the Intermountain Region was developed by a partnership between Idaho Bureau of Land Management, Boise State University, and the Idaho Native Plant Society's Pahove Chapter. Each plant descrption includes information on water and light requirements, as well as whether the plant is valuable for hummingbirds, butterflies, or bees.

Butterfly Exhibits

The International Association of Butterfly Exhibitions lists member facilities world-wide.


The migrating Monarch butterfly inspires people throughout the US. Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas is dedicated to the long-term survival and study of Monarchs.

Monarch Lab, operated by the University of Minnesota, provides monarch-related activities and matierals and links them directly to national and state-specific education standards.

For a great summary of Monarch life history see the Monarch migration page at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Butterfly Organizations

The North American Butterfly Association working to save butterfly species throughout Canada, United States, and Mexico.

The Lepidopterists' Society has collected an astonishing number of links to butterfly Web sites from around the world.


Pollinator Friendly Practice Guidelines (96KB pdf) is a joint project of Wildlife Habitat Council and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign.