Butterfly Taxonomy

Over the years we’ve diversified our interests.  For many amateur naturalists the next step after birds is butterflies.  This is a checklist of butterflies that occur in Arkansas.  Although vagrants will show up occasionally, these are the commonest ones according to personal observations and Kaufman’s Field Guide to Butterflies of North America.  As with the birds, these will be listed in taxonomic order with latin family names.  The taxonomy is always changing and the classification that I am using may already be out of date.  The text that is in red are ones that I have seen.   The larval food plant will be listed as well.  Butterflies can be closely tied to their larval food plant and where you see one there is often the other.

Family: Papilionidae (Swallowtails)

  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail–Cottonwood, ash, willow, alder, aspen, and others
  • Zebra Swallowtail–Pawpaw
  • Spicebush Swallowtail–Spicebush and Sassafras
  • Pipevine Swallowtail–Dutchmen’s Pipe
  • Black Swallowtail–Parsley family
  • Giant Swallowtail–Hoptree
Spicebush Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail

Family: Pieridae (Whites and Sulphurs)

  • Cabbage White–Wild cabbage and mustard
  • Checkered White–Mustards
  • Falcate Orangetip–Bittercress and mustards
  • Olympia Marble–Rockcress
  • Clouded Sulphur–White clover and legumes
  • Orange Sulphur–Clovers and other legumes
  • Southern Dogface–Indigo, clovers, and other legumes
  • Sleepy Orange–Sennas
  • Dainty Sulphur–Dogweed and asters
  • Little Yellow–Senna
  • Cloudless Sulphur–Senna
Sulphurs: Cloudless (large bright yellow), Orange (medium size), and Sleepy Orange (smallest, right side of picture).

Sulphurs: Cloudless (large bright yellow), Orange (medium size), and Sleepy Orange (smallest, right side of picture).

Family: Lycaenidae (Blues, Hairstreaks, and Coppers)

  • Harvester–carnivorous larvae
  • Bronze Copper–water dock
  • Gray Hairstreak–legumes and mallows
  • White M Hairstreak–Oaks
  • Banded Hairstreak–Oaks and hickories
  • Hickory Hairstreak–Hickories
  • Edward’s Haistreak–Scrub Oak
  • King’s Hairstreak–Common sweetleaf
  • Striped Hairstreak–Wild cherry, blueberry, and oak
  • Northern Oak Hairstreak–Oaks
  • Coral Hairstreak–Wild cherry and wild plum
  • Red-banded Hairstreak–Rotting leaves
  • Henry’s Elfin–Redbud and American holly
  • Eastern Pine Elfin–Pines
  • Great Purple Hairstreak–Mistletoes, cottonwood, juniper, and mesquite
  • Juniper Hairstreak–Eastern redcedar
  • Eastern Tailed-Blue–Legumes
  • Reakirt’s Blue–Legumes
  • Spring Azure–variety
  • Summer Azure–variety
Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak

Family: Nymphalidae (Fritillaries, Crescents, Checkerspots, Angle wings, Admirals, and Satyrs)

  • Gulf Fritillary–Passion flower
  • Variegated Fritillary–Passionflowers and violets
  • Great Spangled Fritillary–Violets
  • Diana Fritillary–Violets
  • Pearl Crescent–Asters
  • Phaon Crescent–Frogfruits
  • Silvery Checkerspot–black-eyed susan
  • Gorgone Checkerspot–Sunflowers
  • Baltimore Checkerspot–Turtlhead and false foxglove
  • Question Mark–Hops, nettles, elms, and hackberries
  • Eastern Comma–Nettles, elms, and hops
  • Gray Comma–Currants
  • Mourning Cloak–Willows, cottonwoods, elms, birches, and hackberries
  • Red Admiral–Nettles, false nettles, and pellitories
  • American Lady–Everlastings, pussy-toes, and cudweeds
  • Painted Lady–Thistle and mallows
  • Common Buckeye–Plantains and monkey flowers
  • Red-spotted Purple–Willows, cottonwoods, and poplars
  • Viceroy–Willows
  • Goatweed Leafwing–Crotons
  • Hackberry Emperor–Hackberry trees
  • Tawny Emperor–Hackberry trees
  • American Snout–Hackberry trees
  • Monarch–Milkweeds
  • Little Wood-Satyr–Grasses
  • Carolina Satyr–Grasses
  • Helicta Satyr–Sedges
  • Gemmed Satyr-Grasses
  • Common Wood-Nymph–Grasses
  • Northern Pearly-Eye–Grasses
  • Southern Pearly-Eye–Giant cane
  • Creole Pearly-Eye–Giant cane
Tawny Emperor

Tawny Emperor

Family: Hesperiidae (Skippers)

  • Silver-spotted Skipper–Locusts and wisteria
  • Hoary Edge–Tick trefoils
  • Northern Cloudywing–Tick trefoils and wild beans
  • Southern Cloudywing–Tick trefoils and wild beans
  • Confused Cloudywing–Legumes
  • Juvenal’s Duskywing–Oaks
  • Horace’s Duskywing–Oaks
  • Funereal Duskywing–Legumes
  • Dreamy Duskywing–Willow, aspen and poplar
  • Sleepy Duskywing–Oaks
  • Wild Indigo Duskywing–Crown vetch and wild indigo
  • Mottled Duskywing–New Jersey tea
  • Common Checkered Skipper–Mallows
  • Hayhurst’s Scallopwing–Lambquarters
  • Common Sootywing–Pigweeds
  • Fiery Skipper–Bermuda grass
  • Sachem–Grasses
  • Least Skipper–Grasses
  • Clouded Skipper–Grasses
  • Swarthy Skipper–Bluestem grasses
  • Leonard’s Skipper–Grasses
  • Meske’s Skipper–Grasses
  • Tawny-edged Skipper–Grasses
  • Crossline Skipper–Grasses
  • Southern Broken-Dash–Grasses
  • Northern Broken-Dash–Grasses
  • Little Glassywing–Purple top grasses
  • Dun Skipper–Sedges
  • Hobomok Skipper–Grasses
  • Zabulon Skipper–Grasses
  • Yehl Skipper–Unknown
  • Dion Skipper–Sedges
  • Duke’s Skipper–Sedges
  • Delaware Skipper–Grasses
  • Dusted Skipper–Bluestem grasses
  • Common Roadside Skipper–Grasses
  • Pepper and Salt Skipper–Grasses
  • Bell’s Roadside Skipper–Johnson grass
  • Lace-winged Roadside Skipper–Cane
  • Eufala Skipper–Bermuda and Johnson grasses
  • Yucca Giant Skipper–Yuccas
Clouded Skipper

Clouded Skipper

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