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A beautiful butterfly has its wings spread, displaying areas of vibrant orange with black details, and vivid blue with white spots.
Regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia). (Photo: Bryan E. Reynolds)

Butterflies and moths make up the order Lepidoptera, the fourth largest order of insects. These animals are beautiful to observe and make valuable contributions to ecosystems. From the grassland-dependent species of the Pacific Northwest to the showy swallowtails of Central and South America, the Xerces Society works to conserve butterflies and moths throughout the world. In addition to advocating for Lepidoptera conservation, conducting research, assisting with habitat management and restoration, and developing publications and other educational materials, the Xerces Society administers a yearly award for research into Lepidoptera conservation, in honor of Joan Mosenthal Dewind.

Our species profiles of butterflies and moths assess the conservation needs of some of the most at-risk North American species—either scroll down or use the search tools to explore our listings!


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