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Host and Nectar Plants Sorted by Butterfly Species



Butterflies and moths use specific host plants. The host plant is the plant or plants that specific species of butterflies or moths can eat. For example, Gulf Fritillary caterpillars eat only specific passionvine plants.

Butterflies with a short proboscis cannot drink nectar from a flower with a deep throat and nectar at the base of the flower. Some butterflies seem attracted to specific flowers and/or colors. We list below some or all host plants used by each specific species and nectar plants which seem to especially delight these butterfly species. This is by NO means a complete list! This list doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. Butterflies drink from an enormous variety of nectar plants as well as other food sources.


Atala Butterfly Eumaeus atala
Host Plants: Coontie


American Snout Libytheana carinenta
Host Plants: Hackberry Tree


American Swallowtail Butterfly Papilio polyxenes
Host Plants: Parsley, Fennel, Rue
Nectar Plants: Tropical Milkweed, Butterfly Bush, Tall Porterweed, Pentas


American Painted Lady Butterfly Vanessa virginiensis
Host Plants: Cudweed
Nectar Plants: Stoke's Aster, Butterfly Bush


Barred Yellow Butterfly Eurema daira
Host Plants: Shyleaf


Bella Moth Utetheisa ornatrix   Tiger Moth
Host Plants: Crotolaria


Black Swallowtail Butterfly Papilio polyxenes
Host Plants: Parsley, Fennel, Rue
Nectar Plants: Tropical Milkweed, Butterfly Bush, Tall Porterweed, Pentas


Brazilian Skipper Butterfly Calpodes ethlius
Host Plants: Canna Lily


Buckeye Butterfly Junonia coenia
Host Plants: Plantain, Upright Firecracker, Weeping Firecracker, Butterfly Bush, Mexican Petunia
Nectar Plants: Butterfly Bush, Lantana, Cosmos


Cabbage White Pieris rapae   Considered a crop pest


Canna Skipper Butterfly Calpodes ethlius


Cassius Blue Butterfly Leptotes cassius
Host Plants: Plumbago


Cecropia Moth Hyalophora cecropia   Silkmoth
Host Plants: Willow, Black Cherry
Adult Cecropia moths do not eat.


Ceraunus Blue Butterfly Hemiargus ceraunus
Host Plants: Creeping Indigo
Nectar Plants: Saltbush


Checkered White Pontia protodice
Host Plants: Virginia Pepperweed
Nectar Plants: Lantana, Anise Hyssop


Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Phoebis sennae
Host Plants: Christmas Cassia, Candlestick Cassia, Partridge Pea
Nectar Plants: Pineapple Sage, Cape Honeysuckle, Upright Firecracker, Weeping Firecracker, Firebush, Firespike, Tall Porterweed, Red Pagoda, Candy Corn, Autumn Sage, Red Porterweed, Morning Glory, Turks Cap, Liatras, Batface, Hibiscus (especially red)


Common Buckeye Butterfly Junonia coenia
Host Plants: Plantain, Upright Firecracker, Weeping Firecracker, Summer Petunia, Butterfly Bush
Nectar Plants: Butterfly Bush, Lantana, Cosmos


Tropical Checkered Skipper Butterfly Pyrgus communis
Nectar Plants: Mexican Heather


Dogface Butterfly Zerene cesonia
Host Plants: Summer Farewell
Nectar Plants: Lantana, Red Porterweed, Stokes Aster


Dorantes Longtail Butterfly Urbanus dorantes


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Pterourus glaucus
Host Plants: Black Cherry, Tulip Tree, Sweet Bay
Nectar Plants: Tall Porterweed, Butterfly Bush Pentas


Giant Swallowtail Butterfly Heraclides cresphontes
Host Plants: Hercules Club, Citrus Trees, Hop Tree, Wild Lime
Nectar Plants: Tall Porterweed, Zinnia, Pentas, Red Pagoda


Gray Hairstreak Butterfly Strymon melinus
Host Plants: Creeping Indigo, Beans, Cotton, Clover, Mallow
Nectar Plants: Liatras, Creeping Indigo, Flat-top Goldenrod


Great Purple Hairstreak Butterfly Atlides halesus
Host Plants: Mistletoe
Nectar Plants: Chaste Tree


Great Southern White Butterfly Ascia monuste
Host Plants: Virginia Pepperweed


Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Agraulis vanillae
Host Plants: Maypop Passionvine and most passionvines other than red flower passionvine.
Nectar Plants: Lantana, Butterfly Bush, Zinnia, Tall Porterweed, Pentas, Sunflower Tree, Indigo Spires Salvia, Liatras, Golden Dewdrop


Hackberry Butterfly Asterocampa celtis
Host Plants: Hackberry or Sugarberry
Fruit Plants: Loquat fruit and other fruits


Imperial Moth Eacles imperialis   Royal Moth
Host Plants: Pine, Oak, Maple, Sweet Gum, Sassafras


IO Moth CATERPILLAR STINGS! Automeris io

Julia Butterfly Dryas julia
Host Plants: Maypop Passionvine and most passionvines other than red flower passionvine.
Nectar Plants: Lantana, Butterfly Bush, Zinnia, Tall Porterweed, pentas, Sunflower Tree, Indigo Spires Salvia, Liatras, Golden Dewdrop


Laurel Swallowtail Butterfly Pterourus palamedes
Host Plants: Red Bay and Swamp Bay
Nectar Plants: Tropical Milkweed, Summer Petunia, Tall Porterweed, Pentas


Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Urbanus proteus
Host Plants: Green Beans, Beggarweed
Indigo Spires Salvia, Candy Corn, Tall Porterweed


Luna Moth Actias luna   Silkmoth
Host Plants: Persimmon, Sweet Gum, Hickories, Walnuts, sumacs, and White Birch.
Adults do not eat.


Malachite Butterfly Siproeta stelenes
Host Plants: Green Shrimp
Fruit


Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus
Host Plants: Milkweeds
Nectar Plants: Wild Mist Flower, Butterfly Bush, Tall Porterweed, Pentas, Blanket Flower


Oleander Wasp Moth Syntomeida epilais   Wasp Moth
Host Plants: Oleander
Nectar Plants: Butterfly Bush


Orange-barred Sulphur Butterfly Phoebis philea
Host Plants: Christmas Cassia, Candlestick Cassia
Nectar Plants: Pineapple Sage, Cape Honeysuckle, Upright Firecracker, Weeping Firecracker, Firebush, Firespike, Red Pentas


Painted Lady Butterfly Vanessa cardui
Host Plants: Hollyhock and Ribgrass plantain
Nectar Plants: Stoke's Aster


Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly Pterourus palamedes
Host Plants: Red or Swamp Bay, Sassafras, Spicebush
Nectar Plants: Pentas


Pearl Crescent Butterfly Phyciodes tharos
Host Plants: Aster
Nectar Plants: Mexican Heather


Phaon Crescent Butterfly Phyciodes phaon
Host Plants: Frog Fruit
Nectar Plants: Mexican Heather


Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Battus philenor
Host Plants: Wooly Pipevine
Nectar Plants: Butterfly Bush, Lantana, Tall Porterweed, Firebush, Tall Porterweed, Pentas


Polka-Dot Wasp Moth Syntomeida epilais
Host Plants: Oleander
Nectar Plants: Butterfly Bush


Polydamas Swallowtail Butterfly Battus polydamas
Host Plants: Calico Vine


Polyphemus Moth Antheraea polyphemus   Silkmoth
Host Plants: Willow, Oak, Maple, Birch
Adults do not eat.


Promethia Moth Callosamia promethiea   Silkmoth
Host Plants: Tulip Tree, Sweet Bay, Spicebush, Sassafras, White Ash, and Lilac.
Adults do not eat.


Queen Butterfly Danaus glippus
Host Plants: Tropical Milkweed
Nectar Plants: Wild Mist Flower, Tall Porterweed, Pentas, Blanket Flower


Question Mark Butterfly Polygonia interrogationis
Host Plants: False Nettle, Hackberry Tree
Fruit


Red Admiral Butterfly Vanessa atalanta
Host Plants: False Nettle, Pellitory
Fruit


Red-banded Hairstreak Calycopis cecrops
Host Plants: Wax Myrtle, Dwarf Sumac, Staghorn Sumac, several Oaks
Nectar Plants: Salt Bush, Lantana, Tropical Milkweed


Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly Basilarchia arthemias astyanax
Host Plants: Willow, Black Cherry, Deerberry, Birth, Basswood, Poplar, Aspen,
Fruit


Sleepy Orange Butterfly Eurema nicippe
Host Plants: Christmas Cassia, Candlestick Cassia
Nectar Plants: Golden Dewdrop, Tall Porterweed, Red Pentas,Blanket Flower


Snout Butterfly Libytheana carinenta
Host Plants: Hackberry or Sugarberry


Tawny Emperor Butterfly Asterocampa clyton
Host Plants: Hackberry or Sugarberry
Fruit


Tersa sphinx Xylophanes tersa Sphinx or Hummingbird Moth
Host Plants: Pentas
Nectar Plants: Tall Porterweed


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Pterourus glaucus
Host Plants: Black Cherry, Tulip Tree, Sweet Bay
Nectar Plants: Tall Porterweed, Butterfly Bush, Pentas


Tropical Checkered Skipper Butterfly Pyrgus oileus
Host Plants: Jute or Fanpetals and Hollyhock
Nectar Plants: Mexican Heather


Variegated Fritillary Butterfly Eupotieta claudia
Host Plants: Maypop Passionvine and most passionvines other than red flower passionvine.
Nectar Plants: Lantana, Butterfly Bush, Zinnia


Viceroy Butterfly Basilarchia archippus
Host Plants: Willow
Fruit


White Checkered Skipper Pyrgus albescens
Host Plants: Jute or Fanpetals and Hollyhock
Nectar Plants: Mexican Heather


White M Hairstreak Butterfly Parrhasius m-album
Host Plants: Oak Trees
Nectar Plants: Host Plants: Saltbush , Lantana


White Peacock Butterfly Anartia jatrophae
Water Hyssop, Frog Fruit
Nectar Plants: Host Plants: Mexican Heather, Lantana


Zebra Longwing Butterfly Zebra heliconian
Host Plants: Maypop Passionvine and most passionvines other than red flower passionvine.
Tall Porterweed, Firebush


Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly Eurytides marcellus
Host Plants: Pawpaw
Nectar Plants: Tall Porterweed, Lantana - especially Gold Lantana