Papilionidae - The Swallowtails
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Pieridae - The Whites and Sulphurs
Lycaenidae - The Gossamer-wings
Eastern Pine Elfin
Northern Spring Azure
Nymphalidae - The Brushfoots
Great Spangled Fritillary
Some seventy-three species of butterflies have been recorded regularly here, along with half a dozen others which were far away from their normal range. The last major work on the status of the Lepidoptera in general in Nova Scotia (Ferguson, 1955) was published over 60 years ago. With the advent of the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas in 2010, we are now accumulating a much better picture of the status and distribution of butterflies in Nova Scotia (and the other Maritime Provinces.)
Each species has a page devoted to it. You can locate a species of interest through the pictorial family lists, above, or by clicking on the species name to the left.
A word of clarification - the intent of this web site is to present information about the status of each species in Nova Scotia. With this in mind, we have completely ignored the subject of identification, except to point out similar species which are also found in the province. Any field guide, such as the one by Opler, would be a good starting place to learn how to identify our butterflies.