Oregon Butterfly Collection

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, C. R. Crowe from Burns and numerous colleagues created an extensive butterfly collection.  The collection was eventually donated to the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve.  The full collection includes specimens from other parts of North America but emphasizes Oregon.

To make the collection accessible on the web, photographs were taken of boxes that contain Oregon specimens and catalogued by species. Below species are listed in order of family and subfamily.  The common name is given followed by the scientific Latin name in parens. Below the name are links
to each box that contains relevant specimens.  Focus on boxes that contain only a single species.  Boxes marked “(various)” contain various species where a) it was difficult to be certain of the identity of some specimens and b) the location of the specimen within the box is not indicated.  There were no examples for a few Oregon species.

Most browsers like Internet Explorer will display a downsized version of the entire photograph once it fully loads.  Move your cursor (+) to the butterfly you wish to view and click to enlarge it.  Use the scroll bars in the bottom and right margins to reposition your view.  Or click again to return to the downsized version and pick a new specimen to view.

Click on a link below to jump to the subfamily of interest:


Common Butterflies of the Willamette Valley

The life cycle of a butterfly starts with an egg on an appropriate host plant that hatches into a caterpillar. The caterpillar grows to a sufficient size and then weaves a cocoon. Finally the adult develops wings and emerges from the cocoon to find a mate, breed, and lay eggs to start the next generation.

Below are some common adult butterflies that one can often seen during the summer at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve or elsewhere in the Willamette Valley.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)

Caterpillar feeds on broad-leaf trees such as bigleaf maple,willow, aspen, and cottonwood. Adult nectars on blackberry blossoms, thistles, yarrow, teasel, alfalfa, columbine, phlox, and rhododendron.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

A very common European import.  Caterpillar feeds on butterfly bush, dogwood, mints, fireweeds, trefoil, sweet pea, plectritis, blackberry, hawkbit, and many others.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Sara’s Orangetip (Anthocharis sara)

One of the earliest to appear in the spring.  Caterpillar feeds on crucifers.  Adult nectar favorites include dandelion, daisies, strawberries, monkeyflower, collinsia, rock cress, and mustards.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Orange Sulphur (Colia eurytheme)

Caterpillar feeds on pea leaves, alfalfa, and other plants. Adult nectars on clover, hawkbit, fleabane, asters, marigolds, red clover, and Rubus.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Boisduval’s Blue (Plebeius icarioides)

Caterpillar feeds on lupines. Adult nectars on lupines and composites.
Subspecies Fender’s Blue is currently found in only a couple Willamette Valley locations.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Caterpillar feeds on a variety of host plants.  Adult nectars on a great variety of flowers including alfalfa, wild onion, loosestrife, mints, clover, and goldenrod.


Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Purplish Copper (Lycaena helloides)

Caterpillar feeds on docks and knotweeds. Adults nectar on thyme, heather, catnip, aster, clover, buttercup, trefoil, mints, gumweed, ragwort, hawkbit, fleabane, thistle, glasswort, and knotweed.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Caterpillar feeds on thistle. Adults nectar on butterfly bush, rabbitbrush, Canada thistle, aster, clover, chokecherry, dogwood, mints, and dandelion.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands P<span class=

Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)

Caterpillar feeds on willow, aspen, cottonwood, serviceberry, spirea, ocean spray, apple, cherry, and mountain balm. Adult nectars on dogbane, mustards, yarrow, thistle, and various fruits.


Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

Caterpillar feeds on various trees. Adult nectars on currants, asters, and various fruits.


Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides)

Caterpillar feeds on various grasses.  Adult nectars on mints, garden herbs, fireweed, butterfly bush, heather, oxeye daisy, pearly everlasting, hawkbit, ragwart, selfheal, phlox, sweet pea, and tansy.


Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Propertius Duskywing (Erynnis propertius)

Caterpillar feeds on Garry (Oregon White) Oak.

Sources: Photos were selected from http:\\www.dirttime.ws by Dennis Deck. Caterpillar and adult plant use information was derived from The Butterflies of Cascadia by Robert Michael Pyle.

Guidelines for Groups Visiting Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve on Their Own

• Any group of more than 10 people must call ahead and schedule their visit with Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve staff.

• To help minimize impacts on the Preserve and on other visitors, groups may not exceed 50 participants at one time.  If the group is a class or camp, 50 students/campers are allowed, PLUS adult chaperones.  We ask for a ratio of 1 chaperone for every 5 children because of ponds, marshes and river hazards.

• Please park in the designated Bus Parking Only area in the parking lot.

• When at the Preserve, adult leaders/chaperones are required to be with the children at all times.  Children must have an adult with them when exploring the Preserve.

• There is stinging nettle, poison oak and poison hemlock growing in different areas around the Preserve.  Please make sure you know these plants and familiarize children and other members of your group with them.

• Please stay on the trails so sensitive habitat and nesting areas are not damaged.

• Please leave plants, animals and other natural objects for others to enjoy.

• Please use nature observation skills, such as lowered voices, walking quietly, moving slowly, using senses such as sight, hearing, smelling.

• Please be respectful of other visitors at the Preserve.  Running and making a lot of noise can frighten wildlife and spoils the experience for visitors who are here to watch birds and other wildlife, do photography, or just enjoy some quiet time in the natural world.

• Please arrange to pack out any garbage you generate while you are here.  We do not have public waste cans on the Preserve.

• When visiting the Exhibit Hall, please walk, enjoy the hands-on exhibits and leave food and drink outside.

• Children must be supervised if they visit the Nature Store.

There is a suggested donation of $2.00 for those 10 years of age and above when visiting the Exhibit Hall.


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