Butterflies and Moths of Fermilab

Insects and Pollinators 3 - monarch butterfly

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) has become a galvanizing example of both species and habitat conservation in North America. It is also a Chicago Wilderness priority species. Photo credit: T. Smith

A total of 54 species of butterflies have been observed on the Fermilab campus. We have also begun to list the moths found at Fermilab, with more than 50 species photographed. The variety of habitats —marsh, prairie, old field, and woods, with some of the wetlands and woods being old remnants — make Fermilab an outstanding place for viewing a good variety of northern Illinois butterflies and moths. Among the less common butterflies found at Fermilab are purplish coppers and coral hairstreaks. Wetland remnants are host to local, wetland dependent butterflies such as black dash skippers and eyed browns. The prairie and wetland wildflowers also attract many other beautiful and well-known butterflies such as the monarch and painted lady.