Watching Butterflies can be very rewarding. Here is a partial list of the butterflies of Dewees Island that we see regularly on the island: click the photos for more details:


Swallowtails are some of the largest butterflies on the island.

Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail
Giant swallowtail nectaring on Toothache tree

Palamedes Swallowtail
Palamedes swallowtail
Black Swallowtailphoto 4


The Pierids are probably responsible for the word butterfly; the early naturalists called them a butter colored fly. In Fact, many are yellow or orange. We have several species on Dewees Island. Crucifers are among their host plants. The earliest to appear in early spring is the Falcate Orangetip. Often whirling in pairs along Old House Lane or near the ferry dock, they are a sure sign that spring is on its way.
Falcate Orangetip
cloudless sulfur


Cabbage White
Great Southern White

Orange Sulfur

sleepy orange
Little Yellow
Sleepy Orange


This family makes up more than 40% of all butterfly species. Usually small, they are divided further into subfamilies: coppers, blues, and hairstreaks. The Eastern Pygmy Blue is our smallest butterfly, found near the salt marshes, where it uses saltwort as a host plant and oxeye daisy for nectar.
Eastern Pygmy Blue
Eastern Pygmy Blue
Gray Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak


Nymphalids are also called brushfoot butterflies. They often have different colors on the tops and undersides of their wings.
Gulf Fritillary
gulf frittilary
Variegated Fritillary

American and Painted Ladies
Phaon Crescent
photo 1
Red Admiral

red admiral
Mourning Cloak
Common Buckeye
Buckeyephoto 3
Little Wood Satyr




Skippers have characteristics of both moths and butterflies. They are named after their quick, darting flight habits. Look for them wherever grass is blooming, or where patches of mistflower light up the maritime forest.
Long-Tailed Skipper

longtailed skipper
Duskywing Skipper

Eufala Skipper

Eufala skipper
Fiery Skipper
Salt Marsh Skipper

salt marsh skipper

You can pick up a butterfly brochure and checklist for $2.00 at our Nature Center Store, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2.00 to Butterfly Brochure, c/o Dewees Real Estate, 243 Old House Lane, Dewees Island, SC. Widgets

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