Moths & Butterflies in Virginia

As the human population grows in Virginia, habitat is transformed and wildlife populations are affected. Clearing the forests for agriculture in the Seventeeth-Nineteenth Centuries, and the expansion of the suburbs in the Twentieth Century, have had the greatest impact. Some species, such as the passenger pigeon, will never be seen again. Others, such as the buffalo, will never reappear in the wild in Virginia. Some, such as the pileated woodpecker, are struggling to survive in habitat that has been fragmented by roads and fields.

Butterflies and moths, however, are likely to survive the transformation of Virginia's natural setting. These insects are able to fly to isolated pockets of habitat, including gardens planted in suburbia intentionally to attract butterflies. The species composition of the butterflies and moths of Virginia has changed as forests were replaced with fields, but future generations of Virginians may be able to enjoy some wildlife right in front yards.

Monarch butterfly
Monarch butterfly
Source:: National Park Service


Habitats and Species
Virginia Places