The most important feature of the Nymphalidae may be
their little brushy forelegs, but they are the beauties of
Lepidoptera, and the most funny-looking ones, too. Here
are ladies, admirals, monarchs, but also the bizarre anglewings and the cute little American Snout. These are
in turn divided into several sub-families:
Brushfoots (Nymphalinae): e.g.,
American (Painted) Lady (Vanessa virginiensis). These are the
prettiest butterflies IMHO, including ladies, admirals, crescents, checkerspots, buckeyes, anglewings,
and tortoise shells/mourning cloaks.
For more photos, see True Brushfoots.
Fritillaries (Heliconiiae): e.g., Aphrodite Fritillary (Speyeria Aprodite). The Heliconiiae cover a lot of
territory, literally. The Aphrodite Fritillary prefers the North,
but the Zebra Heliconian can't survive as a species outside the tropics.
For more photos, see Heliconians.
e.g., Queen (Danaus gilippus). Members
of this family are more alike in appearance than in behavior: The
Queen is in
the same genus as the Monarch, but rarely strays north of subtropical
regions. The Soldier is even rarer in the US. For more
Monarchs photos, see Monarchs,
Nymphs and Satyrs (Satyrinae):
e.g., Northern Pearly Eye (Enodia anthedon). Satyrinae are brown/gray butterflies that live mostly
in the woods. For more photos, see Nymphs
e.g., Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis). For more
photos, see Emperors and Snouts.
e.g., American Snout (Libytheana bachmanii). It's one of only two species in this sub-family, the
other being the Southern Snout. For more photos, see
Emperors and Snouts.