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Our 5 Favorite Central Texas Butterflies


Texas Flag
Texas flag waving in the wind

At Bioscapes Landscaping we strive to promote a healthier ecosystem through our work. One of the ways we can achieve our goal is through the installation of pollinator gardens. These gardens help a variety of different pollinators by providing them with essential needs like water, food, and shelter.


This article will showcase our favorite pollinator, the butterfly. Bioscapes Landscaping currently services the Central Texas area, therefore our choices are butterflies that can be spotted throughout the Central Texas landscape.


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Julia butterfly resting on leaves
Julia butterfly resting on leaves

5 - The Julia Butterfly

(Dryas iulia)


Commonly seen throughout the year in our area, the Julia butterfly is a fast flyer with a wingspan of 3.2 to 3.6 inches. This butterfly prefers nectar as a food source, and can often be found near lantanas that grow extremely well in our area. Yellow passionflower serves as a host plant to its caterpillar.




Mourning Cloak sunning on the ground
Mourning Cloak sunning on the ground

4 - The Mourning Cloak

(Nymphalis antiopa)


The Mourning Cloak boasts one of the longest lifespans for any butterfly, living for around 11 to 12 months. Mourning Cloaks have a wingspan of 2.25 to 4 inches. Though not an abundant species, they can be seen most often near streams and forests. These butterflies tend to prefer sap and fruit more often than nectar. Host plants for its caterpillar include willow, cottonwood, birch, elm, hackberry, and other species of trees.



Monarch feeding on buddleja flower
Monarch feeding on buddleja flower

3 - The Monarch

(Danaus plexippus)


The Texas state insect, the Monarch is one of the most famous species of butterfly. Sporting a wingspan of 3.5 to 4 inches, their iconic pattern is easily identifiable. The Monarch prefers nectar as a food source, and its caterpillar's host plant is milkweed. Each fall, these butterflies begin their migration south, with some flying up to 3,000 miles to reach their winter home! We are lucky to be located strategically in the path of their migration, so Monarch butterflies are far from a rare sight here in Central Texas.



Eastern Tiger Swallowtail sunning on leaves
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail sunning on leaves

2 - The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

(Papilio glaucus)


Another butterfly that can be seen throughout our area quite often is the beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. This large butterfly has a wingspan of 3.5 to 5.5 inches! The color pattern is easily identifiable, with the female of the species sporting a band of blue spots along the hindwing. This swallowtail prefers nectar as a food source, and its caterpillar utilizes a variety of host plants, mostly trees, such as cottonwood, ash, birch, and willow.


Red-spotted Purple feeding on nectar
Red-spotted Purple feeding on nectar

1 - The Red-spotted Purple

(Limenitis arthemis astyanax)


Our favorite butterfly, the Red-spotted Purple! This gorgeous butterfly is another that is not an abundant species but can be seen most often in woodlands and near streams or marshes. Their wingspan reaches between 3 to 3.5 inches and is covered in an attractive blue-black gradient. The Red-spotted Purple usually lands high in the trees but will descend to forage and find water sources. They tend to prefer tree sap, rotting fruit, dung, and carrion as food sources more often than nectar. The Red-spotted Purple caterpillar is another that uses a variety of host plants, including cottonwoods, oaks, willows, hawthorns, and other species of trees.



Have Bioscapes Landscaping install a pollinator garden for you today! Call us for a free estimate, or have us design a custom pollinator garden just for you!







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