Tennessee is home to around 130 species of butterflies, with a few rare species that have been recorded once or twice. Tennessee has a diverse geography, ranging from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the east to the lowlands along the Mississippi River in the west providing suitable habitats for butterflies. The resident butterflies are primarily eastern species, but some southern and northern species are also represented.


In 1995, the Zebra Swallowtail (Euryotides marcellus) was designated as the official state butterfly of Tennessee. The Zebra Swallowtail has black and white stripes running the length of its body with red and blue spots on the lower back. A strikingly beautiful butterfly found throughout most of the United States.

Zebra Swallowtail” by Megan McCarty, licensed under (CC BY 3.0)


For more information about the species of butterflies in Tennessee, click on the links below.