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Butterflies of Griffith Park


Bramble Hairstreak

Click on the following list to see printable reports:

2003 Butterfly checklist
2011/2012 "Common Butterflies of Griffith Park" field guide

Butterflies are one of the few well-known insect groups, and naturalists have been observing and collecting butterflies in the Los Angeles area for over 100 years. The butterflies of Griffith Park have only recently been studied as a group. Griffith Park data will be compared to data gathered farther west in the Santa Monica Mountains, where we expect to find similar populations.

Aside from the ubiquitous "garden butterflies" such as Western Tiger Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak and Cabbage White, Griffith Park supports a diversity of more specialized species that are dependent on specific plant species, often flying for just a few weeks each year, with some not even emerging every year.

There have been two studies about Butterflies in Griffith Park.

1. In 2011/2012, UC Riverside ecologist and GPNHS scientific advisor Dan Cooper documented the butterfly community at Griffith Park, and have produced a remarkable guide titled "Common Butterflies of Griffith Park. The guide has photos and descriptions of many Griffith Park species.

You can view and download the guide at:
2011/2012 "Common Butterflies of Griffith Park" field Guide

2. In 2003, lepidopterist Guy Bruyea reviewed the butterflies of Griffith Park, and spent two days in July censusing. His study may be downloaded here. Though he did not detect any rare or declining species, he did find several that are restricted to patches of native habitats in California, and are absent from urban/suburban settings. These include Behr's Metalmark and Bernardino Blue. Several of the tiny, lime-green Bramble Hairstreak (above), another native-plant-dependent species, were also observed in the park in March 2007 on visits by the Griffith Park Natural History Survey team.