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The Rochester Butterfly Club is an independent club formed to promote the study of butterflies in Western New York. We focus on habitat, environment, life cycles, education, and reporting our findings.




Monarch on Zinnia by Carol Southby


Monarch by Carol Southby


Monarch caterpillar by David Southby

The Rochester Butterfly Club is an independent club formed to promote the study of butterflies in Western New York. We focus on butterfly watching, habitat, environment, life cycles, education, and reporting our findings.

Field Trips

One of the best ways to learn about butterflies and where to find them is to go on a field trip with experienced leaders who will share their knowledge with you. Each year the Rochester Butterfly Club organizes at least 15 guided field trips to prime butterfly spots in the local area, including some members’ gardens. These trips take place on both weekdays and weekends. The trips are listed in our annual schedule sent out to members in the spring. We are always pleased to welcome non-members on our trips. You need only to show up at our butterfly walks as announced in the printed schedule. If you have them, bring a pair of binoculars and a butterfly identification book. (If you don’t have a book of your own, try your local library.)



Members receive our newsletter “Butterly News,” which is published 3 times a year. It includes a variety of articles and topical information about our local butterflies.


If you would like to become a member of the Rochester Butterfly Club, an application can be found here.



Club Officers:

President: Carol Southby
Vice President / Secretary: Shirley Shaw
Treasurer: Lucretia Grosshans
Statistics: Bill McCleary
Editor: David Southby

For information about the Rochester Butterfly Club, contact Lucretia Crosshans.







Our field trips are free and will take place rain or shine, but not during thunder storms.  On cloudy or showery days, we will have a general nature walk, and look for caterpillars, hiding butterflies and plants that butterflies use.  With luck the sun will come out and with it, the butterflies.

Our morning field trips last about 2 hours. Some trips have an option to continue into the afternoon, and others are all day trips, returning some time after 4p.m.    Bring a cold drink and for the longer trips, your lunch and folding chair.
***** Long pants and appropriate footgear are strongly recommended, as there is often poison ivy ***** 

We have provided contact numbers (all area code 585) in case you would like more information about a field trip.  For most of our field trips, just come along to the meeting place listed. Also for most of our field trips, an alternate meeting place may usually be arranged, if needed, via one of the contact numbers.   A few field trips do require pre-registration, as noted.
Please bring close focusing binoculars, a field guide and your camera, but leave your butterfly nets at home, because they can injure wings, legs and antennae.
Non-members, beginners and children accompanied by an adult are welcome at all of our activities. 

During recent years there have been deer ticks in the area and cases of Lyme disease contracted here. Because of this, we recommend you wear long pants tucked into socks, and use insect repellent.

2019 Field trips can be downloaded here.




































**** Please remember to send all your butterfly sightings ****

Whenever you go out butterflying or are just sitting on your back porch, keep a list of the butterflies you see and how many of each. Be sure to record the location and date of each sighting and the observers. If the town and county of the sightings are not well known, record those also. Finally, if you see any other interesting things such as caterpillars (if you can identify them) or a female butterfly laying eggs, see if you can also identify the plant and send this information along as well.

You can send your records to Bill either as you make them or at the end of the season. Send them on our standard checklist record sheets or in any other form that you prefer.


Butterfly and Dragonfly Books


If you would like to download this list for printing, you can find it here.

Butterfly Books for Children


If you would like to download this list for printing, you can find it here.

Dragonfly and Damselfly Books


If you would like to download this list for printing, you can find it here.






Black Swallowtail
Giant Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Spicebush Swallowtail
West Virginia White
Cabbage White
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
American Copper
Bronze Copper
Coral Hairstreak
Acadian Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
Hickory Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Eastern Pine Elfin
Gray Hairstreak
Eastern-tailed Blue
Azure, Spring/Summer
American Snout
Variegated Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Aphrodite Fritillary
Atlantis Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Harris' Checkerspot
Pearl Crescent
Northern Crescent
Baltimore Checkerspot
Question Mark
Eastern Comma
Gray Comma
Compton Tortoiseshell
Mourning Cloak
Milbert's Tortoiseshell
American Lady

Painted Lady
Red Admiral
Common Buckeye
Red-spotted Purple
White Admiral
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor
Northern Pearly Eye
Eyed Brown
Appalachian Brown
Little Wood Satyr
Common Ringlet
Common Wood Nymph
Silver-spotted Skipper
Hoary Edge
Northern Cloudywing
Dreamy Duskywing
Juvenal's Duskywing
Wild Indigo Duskywing
Common Checkered Skipper
Arctic Skipper
Least Skipper
European Skipper
Fiery Skipper
Leonard's Skipper
Peck's Skipper
Tawny-edged Skipper
Crossline Skipper
Long Dash
Northern Broken Dash
Little Glassywing
Delaware Skipper
Hobomok Skipper
Broad-winged Skipper
Dion Skipper
Dun Skipper

Butterfly host plants:

Butterfly Species Caterpillar Plants      
Trees and Shrubs
Tiger Swallowtail American hornbeam ash tulip tree wild cherry
Spicebush Swallowtail sassafras spicebush
Harvester woolly aphids on alder   
Coral Hairstreak black cherry choke cherry 
Acadian Hairstreak small willows
Banded Hairstreak oaks
Hickory Hairstreak hickory  
Striped Hairstreak American hornbeam black chokeberry hawthorn
Spring Azure flowering dogwood  maple-leaf viburnum  New Jersey tea shrubby dogwoods 
Question Mark elm (and herbaceous)
Eastern Comma elm (and herbaceous)
Compton Tortoiseshell birch
Mourning Cloak elm poplar willow
White Admiral American hornbeam black cherry cottonwood oak
Red-spotted Purple American hornbeam black cherry cottonwood oak
Viceroy small poplars small willows
Hackberry Emperor hackberry
Tawny Emperor hackberry
Silver-spotted Skipper black locust
Dreamy Duskywing birch poplar
Juvenal's Duskywing oaks
Butterfly Species Caterpillar Plants      
Black Swallowtail dill fennel parsley Queen Anne's Lace
West Virginia White toothwort
Cabbage White cabbage family
Clouded Sulphur clovers
Orange Sulphur alfalfa
American Copper sheep sorrel
Bronze Copper swamp dock
Eastern-tailed Blue pea family
Great Spangled Fritillary violets
Aphrodite Fritillary violets
Atlantis Fritillary violets
Silver-bordered Fritillary violets
Meadow Fritillary violets
Butterfly Species Caterpillar Plants      
Harris' Checkerspot flat topped aster
Pearl Crescent asters
Baltimore Checkerspot English plantain white turtlehead
Question Mark hops nettle species
Eastern Comma nettle species
Milbert's Tortoiseshell nettle species
American Lady pearly everlasting sweet everlasting 
Painted Lady bull thistle nodding thistle
Red Admiral nettle species
Monarch common milkweed swamp milkweed butterflyweed
Hoary-edge Skipper tick trefoils (Desmodium)
Southern Cloudywing tick trefoils (Desmodium)
Northern Cloudywing bush clovers (Lespedeza) tick trefoils (Desmodium)
Wild Indigo Duskywing wild indigo (Baptisia)
Common Checkered Skipper mallow family
Butterfly Species Caterpillar Plants      
Grasses and Sedges
Northern Pearly Eye grasses
Eyed Brown sedges (Carex)
Appalachian Brown sedges (Carex)
Little Wood Satyr grasses
Common Ringlet grasses
Common Wood Nymph grasses
Arctic Skipper grasses
Least Skipper grasses 
European Skipper Timothy grass
Leonard's Skipper grasses
Peck's Skipper grasses
Tawny-edged Skipper grasses
Crossline Skipper grasses
Long Dash grasses
Northern Broken Dash grasses
Little Glassywing grasses
Delaware Skipper grasses
Hobomok Skipper grasses
Dion Skipper sedges (Carex)
Broad-winged Skipper Phragmites
Dun Skipper sedges (Carex)