Butterflies
in Kansas

Silvery Checkerspot
Silvery Checkerspot - Photo by Jim Mason

Butterflies and moths form the insect order Lepidoptera.

They are one of the advanced orders of insects, and undergo complete metamorphosis.

Most people regard butterflies as very colorful and appealing, even if they don't like "bugs" in general.  By studying them, one can gain insight into the invertebrate world in general.

725 different species of butterflies occur in the U.S. and Canada.  Roughly 20,000 occur worldwide.  The following is a list of the 190 species of butterflies that have been recorded in Kansas, their distributional status and their normal range within the state. 

Occurrence data is based on "Checklist of Kansas Butterflies", Kansas School Naturalist, Vol.37, No.4, April 1991 by Marvin Schwilling and Charles Ely, with updates (Feb. 2011) by Charles Ely. 
An asterisk (*) means the species is an erratic only rarely found in Kansas (54 species).  The direction from Kansas of their normal range is shown in brackets { }.
Species recorded from Kansas whose normal range is in an adjoining state are indicated as strays.
Taxonomy, nomenclature and overall distribution are drawn from The Butterflies and Moths of North America website.

Those interested in observing butterflies may be interested in joining the North American Butterfly Association.  

For a pdf version of this list, click here Kansas butterflies checklist.
(On a Windows system, download the file by right clicking on the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your hard drive, then open it from there.   You will need Acrobat Reader to view this file.  If you don't have that software already, you can get it for free from Adobe.)

There are individual species pages for the Monarch and Regal Fritillary.

FAMILY PAPILIONIDAE - - - SWALLOWTAILS
  Pipevine Swallowtail - Battus philenor – All but NW 1/8
  Zebra Swallowtail - Eurytides marcellus – SE 1/4
  Black Swallowtail - Papilio polyxenes - All
* Baird’s Old World Swallowtail - Papilio machaon bairdii {NW}
  Anise Swallowtail  - Papilio zelicaon– Stray W
* Thoas Swallowtail - Papilio thoas {S}
  Giant Swallowtail - Papilio cresphontes – E 1/2
* Ornythion Swallowtail - Papilio ornythion {S}
  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio glaucus – E 2/3
* Two-tailed Swallowtail  - Papilio multicaudata – Stray W
  Spicebush Swallowtail - Papilio troilus – E 1/4
* Ruby-spotted Swallowtail - Papilio anchisiades  {S}

FAMILY PIERIDAE - - - WHITES, SULPHURS & ORANGE-TIPS

SUBFAMILY PIERINAE - - - WHITES
* Florida White - Appias drusilla {S}
   Checkered White - Pontia protodice - All
* Western White - Pontia occidentalis {W}
  Cabbage White - Pieris rapae - All
* Great Southern White - Ascia monuste {S}
* Giant White - Ganyra josephina {S}
  Olympia Marble - Euchloe olympia - All
  Falcate Orangetip - Anthocharis midea – SE 1/4

SUBFAMILY COLIADINAE - - - SULPHURS
   Clouded Sulphur - Colias philodice – All
   Orange Sulphur  - Colias eurytheme - All
   Southern Dogface - Colias cesonia - All
* White Angled-Sulphur - Anteos chlorinde  {SW}
   Cloudless Sulphur  - Phoebis sennae - All
* Orange-barred Sulphur - Phoebis philea  {S}
* Apricot Sulphur - Phoebis argante {S}
* Large Orange Sulphur - Phoebis agarithe {S}
* Statira Sulphur - Phoebis statira {S}
* Lyside Sulphur - Kricogonia lyside {S}
   Mexican Yellow - Eurema mexicana – All but NE 1/8
* Tailed Orange - Eurema proterpia {S}
   Little Yellow  - Eurema lisa – E 2/3
* Mimosa Yellow - Eurema nise {S}
   Sleepy Orange - Eurema nicippe – All but NW 1/8
   Dainty Sulphur - Nathalis iole - All

FAMILY LYCAENIDAE - - - GOSSAMER-WING BUTTERFLIES

SUBFAMILY MILETINAE - - - HARVESTERS
   Harvester - Feniseca tarquinius - E 1/4

SUBFAMILY LYCAENINAE
  American Copper - Lycaena phlaeas – Stray E
  Gray Copper - Lycaena dione  - All
  Bronze Copper - Lycaena hyllus - All
  Purplish Copper - Lycaena helloides – Stray NW

SUBFAMILY THECLINAE - - - HAIRSTREAKS
  Great Purple Hairstreak - Atlides halesus – Stray S
  Soapberry Hairstreak - Phaeostrymon alcestis - SC 1/4
  Coral Hairstreak - Satyrium titus – All but W 1/4
  Acadian Hairstreak - Satyrium acadica – Stray N
  Edwards’ Hairstreak - Satyrium edwardsii – Stray E
  Banded Hairstreak - Satyrium calanus – E 2/3
  Hickory Hairstreak - Satyrium caryaevorus – Stray E
  Striped Hairstreak - Satyrium liparops – NE 1/8
  Southern Hairstreak - Satyrium favonius - SE 1/4
  Henry’s Elfin - Callophrys henrici – E 1/3
  'Olive' Juniper Hairstreak - Callophrys gryneus gryneus – E 2/3
  White M Hairstreak - Parrhasius m-album – Stray E
  Gray Hairstreak - Strymon melinus - All
  Red-banded Hairstreak - Calycopis cecrops – Stray SE
* Dusky-blue Groundstreak - Calycopis isobeon {S}
* Gray Ministreak - Ministrymon azia {S}

SUBFAMILY POLYOMMATINAE - - - BLUES
  Western Pygmy-Blue - Brephidium exilis – SW 1/4
* Cassius Blue - Leptotes cassius {S}
  Marine Blue - Leptotes marina – All but NE 1/8
* Ceraunus Blue - Hemiargus ceraunus {S}
  Reakirt’s Blue - Hemiargus isola - All
  Eastern Tailed-Blue - Cupido comyntas - All
  Spring Azure - Celastrina ladon – All
  Summer Azure - Celastrina neglecta - All
* Silvery Blue - Glaucopsyche lygdamus {W}
  Melissa Blue - Plebejus melissa – W 1/2
  Lupine Blue - Plebejus lupini – W 1/2

FAMILY NYMPHALIDAE - - - BRUSHFOOTS

SUBFAMILY LIBYTHEINAE - - - SNOUTS
   American Snout - Libytheana carinenta - All

SUBFAMILY HELICONIINAE - - - HELICONIANS
   Gulf Fritillary - Agraulis vanillae – Stray S
* Banded Orange Heliconian - Dryadula phaetusa {S}
* Julia Heliconian - Dryas iulia {S}
* Isabella’s Heliconian - Eueides isabella {S}
* Zebra Heliconian - Heliconius charithonia {S}

SUBFAMILY NYMPHALINAE - - - TRUE BRUSHFOOTS
  Variegated Fritillary - Euptoieta claudia - All
  Great Spangled Fritillary - Speyeria cybele – NE 2/3
  Aphrodite Fritillary - Speyeria aphrodite – Stray N
   Regal Fritillary - Speyeria idalia – All, Stray W 1/2
  Edwards’ Fritillary - Speyeria edwardsii – Stray W
  Fulvia Checkerspot - Thessalia fulvia – W 1/2
  Bordered Patch  - Chlosyne lacinia – SW 1/4
  Gorgone Checkerspot - Chlosyne gorgone - All
  Silvery Checkerspot - Chlosyne nycteis – E 1/2
* Texan Crescent - Phyciodes texana {S}
  Graphic Crescent - Phyciodes graphica – Stray S
  Phaon Crescen - Phyciodes phaont – SE 1/2
  Pearl Crescent  - Phyciodes tharos - All
* Field Crescent - Phyciodes campestris {W}
  Painted Crescent - Phyciodes picta – W 1/4
* Dotted Checkerspot - Poladryas minuta {W}
  Baltimore Checkerspot - Euphydryas phaeton – Stray E
  Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis - All
  Eastern Comma - Polygonia comma – NE 1/2
  Hoary Comma - Polygonia gracilis – Stray W
  Gray Comma - Polygonia progne – E 1/4
  Mourning Cloak - Nymphalis antiopa - All
* Milbert’s Tortoiseshell - Aglais milberti {W}
  American Lady - Vanessa virginiensis - All
  Painted Lady - Vanessa cardui - All
  West Coast Lady - Vanessa annabella – Stray W
  Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta - All
  Common Buckeye - Junonia coenia - All
* White Peacock - Anartia jatrophae {S}
* Malachite - Siproeta stelenes {S}

SUBFAMILY LIMENITIDINAE - - - ADMIRALS
  Red-spotted Purple - Limenitis arthemis astyanax – E 1/2
  Viceroy - Limenitis archippus - All
* Weidemeyer’s Admiral - Limenitis weidemeyerii {W}
  Arizona Sister - Adelpha eulalia – Stray SW
* Florida Purplewing - Eunica tatila {S}
* Common Mestra - Mestra amymone {S}
* Many-banded Daggerwing - Marpesia chiron {S}
* Ruddy Daggerwing - Marpesia petreus {SW}

SUBFAMILY CHARAXINIE - - - LEAFWINGS
* Tropical Leafwing - Anaea aidea {S}
  Goatweed Leafwing - Anaea andria - All

SUBFAMILY APATURINAE - - - EMPERORS
  Hackberry Emperor - Asterocampa celtis - All
  Tawny Emperor - Asterocampa clyton – E 2/3

SUBFAMILY SATYRINAE - - - SATYRS
  Northern Pearly Eye  - Enodia anthedon – Stray E 1/4
* Creole Pearly Eye - Enodia creola {SE}
* Eyed Brown - Satyrodes eurydice {N}
  Gemmed Satyr - Cyllopsis gemma – Stray SE 1/8
* Carolina Satyr - Hermeuptychia sosybius {SE}
  Little Wood Satyr - Megisto cymela – E 2/3
  Red Satyr - Megisto rubricata – Stray SW
  Common Wood Nymph - Cercyonis pegala - All

SUBFAMILY DANAINAE - - - MILKWEED BUTTERFLIES
  Monarch - Danaus plexippus – All
  Queen - Danaus gilippus – Stray S 1/2
* Tiger Mimic-Queen - Lycorea halia {S}

FAMILY HESPERIIDAE - - - SKIPPERS

SUBFAMILY PYRGINAE - - - SPREADWING SKIPPERS
Silver-spotted Skipper - Epargyreus clarus - All
* Long-tailed Skipper - Urbanus proteus {S}
Hoary Edge - Achalarus lyciades - E 1/4
Southern Cloudywing - Thorybes bathyllus - E 1/2
Northern Cloudywing - Thorybes pylades - E 1/2
Confused Cloudywing  - Thorybes confusis - SE 1/4
Hayhurst’s Scallopwing - Staphylus hayhurstii - E 2/3
* Northern Sicklewing - Eantis tamenund {S}
* Hermit Skipper - Grais stigmatica {S}
* White-patched Skipper - Chiomara georgina {S}
Sleepy Duskywing - Erynnis brizo – Stray E
Juvenal’s Duskywing - Erynnis juvenalis - E 1/4
Horace’s Duskywing - Erynnis horatius – E 1/2
Mottled Duskywing - Erynnis martialis – Stray E
Funeral Duskywing - Erynnis funeralis – All
* Columbine Duskywing - Erynnis lucilius {NE}
Wild Indigo Duskywing - Erynnis baptisiae – E 1/2
* Afranius Duskywing - Erynnis afranius {W}
* Persius Duskywing - Erynnis persius {W}
Common Checkered-Skipper - Pyrgus communis - All
Common Sootywing - Pholisora catullus – All
* Mexican Sootywing - Pholisora mejicana  {SW}

SUBFAMILY HETEROPTERINAE - - - SKIPPERLINGS
* Russet Skipperling- Piruna pirus {W}

SUBFAMILY HERPERIINAE - - - GRASS-SKIPPERS
  Swarthy Skipper - Nastra lherminier – Stray SE
* Clouded Skipper - Lerema accius {SE}
  Least Skipper - Ancyloxypha numitor – All
  Orange Skipperling - Copaeodes aurantiaca - W 1/4
  Fiery Skipper - Hylephila phyleus – All
  Uncas Skipper - Hesperia uncas – W 1/3
  Ottoe Skipper - Hesperia ottoe – All
  Leonard’s Skipper - Hesperia leonardus – NW 1/4
  Pahaska Skipper - Hesperia pahaska – Stray W
  Cobweb Skipper - Hesperia metea – Stray SE
  Green Skipper - Hesperia viridis – W 1/3
  Dotted Skipper - Hesperia attalus – Stray SC
  Rhesus Skipper - Polites rhesus – Stray W
  Peck’s Skipper - Polites peckius – NE 1/4
  Tawny-edged Skipper  - Polites themistocles – E 1/2
  Crossline Skipper - Polites origenes – E 1/2
  Southern Broken-dash - Wallengrenia otho – Stray SE
  Northern Broken-dash - Wallengrenia egeremet – Stray E
  Little Glassywing  - Pompeius verna – Stray NE
  Sachem - Atalopedes campestris - All
  Arogos Skipper - Atrytone arogos – All but SW 1/4
  Delaware Skipper - Anatrytone logan – All
  Byssus Skipper - Problema byssus – SE 1/4
  Hobomok Skipper - Poanes hobomok – E 1/2
  Zabulon Skipper - Poanes zabulon – E 1/2
  Dion Skipper - Euphyes dion – Stray SE
  Two-Spotted Skipper - Euphyes bimacula – Stray N
  Dun Skipper - Euphyes vestris – All
  Dusted Skipper - Atrytonopsis hianna - All
  Bronze Roadside-Skipper - Amblyscirtes aenus – Stray SW
  Linda’s Roadside-Skipper - Amblyscirtes linda - Stray SE
  Oslar’s Roadside-Skipper - Amblyscirtes oslari – W 1/4
  Nysa Roadside-Skipper - Amblyscirtes nysa - E 2/3
* Dotted Roadside-Skipper - Amblyscirtes eos {SW}
  Common Roadside-Skipper - Amblyscirtes vialis – All
  Bell’s Roadside-Skipper - Amblyscirtes belli – SE 1/4
  Eufala Skipper  - Lerodea eufala – All
* Brazilian Skipper - Calpodes ethlius {S}

SUBFAMILY MEGATHYMININAE - - - GIANT-SKIPPERS
  Yucca Giant-Skipper - Megathymus yuccae – W 1/2
  Strecker’s Giant-Skipper - Megathymus streckeri – SW & NW

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- This page was spun by Jim Mason -

Questions or comments?  Send Email to Jim Mason Spidey
Or write us at: 
Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E. 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67220-2200             Call:  316-683-5499            Fax:  316-688-9555