I'm told there are 26 in total, however several are different variations within a species, making it 22 different butterfly species in all. Of the 22, I have seen 11.
Around where I live there are several butterflies I'm very fond of - in particular the "blues" and the "coppers" and, of course, the Monarchs.
Last Summer I noticed how the Long-tailed Blue butterflies were attracted to a roadside plant called Vervain (of the Verbena family). One day, when out with my camera, I took a plastic bag with me, especially to take home a few Vervain plants. I only managed to get one plant.
I planted it in a self-watering pot and watched and waited.
It did well and this Summer the plant has grown tall. In fact it got so tall, I had to stake it to keep it upright. It has now been flowering for several months with its tiny purple flowers.
My idea, as you may have guessed, was to encourage the Long-tailed Blue butterflies into our garden. It worked !
It's only 2 butterflies, however we are now getting Long-tailed Blues into our garden and enjoying the Vervain flowers. While we were having lunch out on our deck, yesterday, I noticed one of the butterflies darting about and then settle on the Vervain.
My camera was at the ready and below you can see the result. Despite the ripped state of its wings, it flew wonderfully.