Butterflies: “Wildflowers without Roots”

Wild flowers attract wild butterflies.  The Pryors are a good place to look for both. Also look for butterflies around mud puddles and other water.

We recommend a good pair of binoculars for butterfly watching.  They will give you a “big screen” view from a distance less likely to scare a butterfly away.  Look for close-focus binoculars which will focus on objects as close as half a dozen feet away.  Many good bird watching binoculars work well.

A number of butterfly field guides are available such as: Butterflies of North America by Jim P. Brock & Kenn Kaufman, published by Houghton Mifflin, and A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America by Jeffrey Glassberg, published by Sunstreak Books.

A good internet source of information is Butterflies and Moths of North America which is maintained by the Big Sky Institute at Montana State University.  This website includes photos, descriptions, and range maps for many species including a species list for Carbon county MT which includes the Pryors.

Thanks to Steve Kohler, Montana butterfly expert, for confirming and correcting our species identifications. Thirty-seven species are shown below – all photographed in the Pryors.  Surely there are more. Contributions of photos from amateur butterfly watchers and professional lepidopterists are welcome.

Click on photos below to enlarge and to identify species.