USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Atlas of North Dakota Butterflies

Photo by Bryan Reynolds: Dakota Skipper
Dakota SkipperPhoto © Bryan Reynolds

Information provided by
Dr. Ronald A. Royer
Minot State University
Minot, North Dakota

This resource is designed as a clearinghouse for information specific to a number of butterfly projects in North Dakota. Updated at the end of each butterfly season, it reports the most accurate and most recent North Dakota county atlas data available anywhere. The author serves as Great Plains Coordinator for the Season Summary of the Lepidopterists' Society, and records presented here are based on review of Season Summary and similar published field reports. Only professional, published, specimen-vouchered or photographically confirmed records are included.

Species Information -- Each species entry includes three types of information:

  1. Photos -- Composite digitally captured images of preserved adult butterflies. In most entries, both sexes are represented (males at top and females at bottom). Most of the images likewise include both upper (left) and lower (right) wing surfaces for each sex. Where more than one form of a species exists or where there is wide variation in marking, additional images are included (to the right in most cases) to illustrate the range of such variation. As far as possible, images are of butterflies actually collected in North Dakota. In a few cases involving non-breeding immigrant species, they are all individuals from adjacent states or provinces and were carefully selected for their similarity to what one would encounter in North Dakota. Because size is also important, note that a small one-centimeter scale appears at lower left-center of each composite image.
  2. Photo Acknowledgments: Title page photo by Bryan Reynolds ( All prepared specimen photos by Ronald A. Royer ( Some photos presented in this resource are protected by copyright. Photographers should be contacted for permission prior to any use of photos outside the context of this resource.

  3. Text -- Textual information about the species — including naming conventions, habitat, larval food, and adult flight periods. Explanation of Textual Accounts
  4. Maps -- Distribution maps of North Dakota counties in which species records were collected. Counties shaded dark blue have reliable records for the species indicated. Counties shaded light blue have only questionable or historic records.

This resource was originally based on the following sources:

Royer, Ronald A.  2003.  Butterflies of North Dakota: An atlas and guide (2nd Edition).  Minot State University Science Monograph 2.  192pp.

Royer, Ronald A.  1988.  Butterflies of North Dakota: An atlas and guide (1st Edition).  Minot State University Science Monograph 1.  192pp.

This resource should be cited as:

Royer, Ronald A.  2004.  Atlas of North Dakota Butterflies.  Jamestown ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. (Version 29MAR2004).

Questions or information related to the various butterfly monitoring efforts for which this resource is intended should be conveyed directly to the author at the following address:

     Dr. Ronald A. Royer
     Division of Science
     Minot State University
     500 University Avenue West
     Minot, North Dakota 58707

Families and Subfamilies


SpAct Pic Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
SpAct Pic Northern Cloudy Wing (Thorybes pylades)
SpAct Pic Dreamy Dusky Wing (Erynnis icelus)
SpAct Pic Sleepy Dusky Wing (Erynnis brizo)
SpAct Pic Juvenal's Dusky Wing (Erynnis juvenalis)
SpAct Pic Afranius Dusky Wing (Erynnis afranius)
SpAct Pic Persius Dusky Wing (Erynnis persius)
SpAct Pic Small Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus scriptura)
SpAct Pic Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis)
SpAct Pic Common Sooty Wing (Pholisora catullus)
SpAct Pic Mohave Sooty Wing (Hesperopsis libya)
Lesser and Branded Skippers
SpAct Pic Arctic Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon)
SpAct Pic Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor)
SpAct Pic Poweshiek Skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek)
SpAct Pic Garita Skipperling (Oarisma garita)
SpAct Pic European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola)
SpAct Pic Uncas Skipper (Hesperia uncas)
SpAct Pic Common Branded Skipper (Hesperia comma)
SpAct Pic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe)
SpAct Pic Pawnee Skipper (Hesperia leonardus pawnee)
SpAct Pic Pahaska Skipper (Hesperia pahaska)
SpAct Pic Dakota Skipper (Hesperia dacotae)
SpAct Pic Peck's Skipper (Polites peckius)
SpAct Pic Tawny-edged Skipper (Polites themistocles)
SpAct Pic Crossline Skipper (Polites origenes)
SpAct Pic Long Dash (Polites mystic)
SpAct Pic Rhesus Skipper (Polites rhesus)
SpAct Pic Northern Broken Dash (Wallengrenia egeremet)
SpAct Pic Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)
SpAct Pic Arogos Skipper (Atrytone arogos)
SpAct Pic Delaware Skipper (Anatrytone logan)
SpAct Pic Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides)
SpAct Pic Mulberry Wing (Poanes massasoit)
SpAct Pic Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok)
SpAct Pic Broad-winged Skipper (Poanes viator)
SpAct Pic Dion Skipper (Euphyes dion)
SpAct Pic Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris)
SpAct Pic Dusted Skipper (Atrytonopsis hianna)
SpAct Pic Oslar's Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes oslari)
SpAct Pic Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes vialis)
SpAct Pic Eufala Skipper (Lerodea eufala)
Giant Skippers
SpAct Pic Strecker's Giant Skipper (Megathymus streckeri)

Return to list of families


SpAct Pic Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
SpAct Pic Baird's Swallowtail (Papilio bairdii)
SpAct Pic Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)
SpAct Pic Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
SpAct Pic Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
SpAct Pic Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis)
SpAct Pic Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)
SpAct Pic Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudatus)
SpAct Pic Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

Return to list of families

Whites and Sulphurs

SpAct Pic Spring White (Pontia sisymbrii)
SpAct Pic Checkered White (Pontia protodice)
SpAct Pic Western White (Pontia occidentalis)
SpAct Pic Mustard White (Pieris napi oleracea)
SpAct Pic Cabbage Butterfly (Pieris rapae)
SpAct Pic Olympia Marble (Euchloe olympia)
SpAct Pic Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)
SpAct Pic Alfalfa Butterfly (Colias eurytheme)
SpAct Pic Queen Alexandra's Sulphur (Colias alexandra)
SpAct Pic Dog Face (Zerene cesonia)
SpAct Pic Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
SpAct Pic Mexican Yellow (Eurema mexicanum)
SpAct Pic Little Sulphur (Eurema lisa)
SpAct Pic Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole)

Return to list of families

Gossamer Winged Butterflies

SpAct Pic Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius)
SpAct Pic Little Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
SpAct Pic Gray Copper (Lycaena dione)
SpAct Pic Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus)
SpAct Pic Ruddy Copper (Lycaena rubida)
SpAct Pic Purplish Copper (Lycaena helloides)
Elfins and Hairstreaks
SpAct Pic Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus)
SpAct Pic Acadian Hairstreak (Satyrium acadicum)
SpAct Pic Edwards' Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii)
SpAct Pic Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus)
SpAct Pic Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
SpAct Pic Sheridan's Hairstreak (Callophrys sheridanii)
SpAct Pic Juniper Hairstreak (Mitoura siva)
SpAct Pic Hoary Elfin (Incisalia polia)
SpAct Pic Western Pine Elfin (Incisalia eryphon)
SpAct Pic Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
SpAct Pic Reakirt's Blue (Hemiargus isola)
SpAct Pic Eastern Tailed Blue (Everes comyntas)
SpAct Pic Western Tailed Blue (Everes amyntula)
SpAct Pic Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)
SpAct Pic Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta)
SpAct Pic Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)
SpAct Pic Melissa Blue (Lycaeides melissa)
SpAct Pic Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus)
SpAct Pic Boisduval's Blue (Icaricia icarioides)
SpAct Pic Shasta Blue (Icaricia shasta)
SpAct Pic Acmon Blue (Icaricia acmon)
SpAct Pic Rustic Blue (Agriades rusticus)

Return to list of families


SpAct Pic Mormon Metalmark (Apodemia mormo)

Return to list of families

Brush-footed Butterflies

SpAct Pic Snout Butterfly (Libytheana carinenta bachmanii)
Heliconians and Fritillaries
SpAct Pic Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
SpAct Pic Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)
SpAct Pic Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)
SpAct Pic Aphrodite Fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite)
SpAct Pic Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia)
SpAct Pic Edwards' Fritillary (Speyeria edwardsii)
SpAct Pic Callippe Fritillary (Speyeria callippe)
SpAct Pic Atlantis Fritillary (Speyeria atlantis)
SpAct Pic Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia)
SpAct Pic Silver-bordered Fritillary (Clossiana selene)
SpAct Pic Meadow Fritillary (Clossiana bellona)
Checkerspots, Crescents, and Anglewings
SpAct Pic Gorgone Checkerspot (Charidryas gorgone)
SpAct Pic Silvery Checkerspot (Charidryas nycteis)
SpAct Pic Harris' Checkerspot (Charidryas harrisii)
SpAct Pic Acastus Checkerspot (Charidryas acastus)
SpAct Pic Texan Crescent (Anthanassa texana)
SpAct Pic Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)
SpAct Pic Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta)
SpAct Pic Tawny Crescent (Phyciodes batesii)
SpAct Pic Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
SpAct Pic Hop Merchant (Polygonia comma)
SpAct Pic Satyr Anglewing (Polygonia satyrus)
SpAct Pic Green Comma (Polygonia faunus)
SpAct Pic Zephyr (Polygonia zephyrus)
SpAct Pic Gray Comma (Polygonia progne)
SpAct Pic Compton Tortoise Shell (Nymphalis vaualbum)
SpAct Pic California Tortoise Shell (Nymphalis californica)
SpAct Pic Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
SpAct Pic Milbert's Tortoise Shell (Aglais milberti)
SpAct Pic American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
SpAct Pic Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
SpAct Pic West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella)
SpAct Pic Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
SpAct Pic Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
SpAct Pic White Admiral (Basilarchia arthemis arthemis)
SpAct Pic Red-Spotted Purple (Basilarchia arthemis astyanax)
SpAct Pic Viceroy (Basilarchia archippus)
SpAct Pic Weidemeyer's Admiral (Basilarchia weidemeyerii)
SpAct Pic Hackberry Butterfly (Asterocampa celtis)
SpAct Pic Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton)
Satyrs and Wood Nymphs
SpAct Pic Northern Pearly Eye (Enodia anthedon)
SpAct Pic Eyed Brown (Satyrodes eurydice)
SpAct Pic Little Wood Satyr (Megisto cymela)
SpAct Pic Inornate Ringlet (Coenonympha inornata)
SpAct Pic Common Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)
SpAct Pic Mead's Wood Nymph (Cercyonis meadii)
SpAct Pic Dark Wood Nymph (Cercyonis oetus)
SpAct Pic Red-disked Alpine (Erebia discoidalis)
SpAct Pic Ridings' Satyr (Neominois ridingsii)
SpAct Pic Uhler's Arctic (Oeneis uhleri)
SpAct Pic Alberta Arctic (Oeneis alberta)
Milkweed Butterflies
SpAct Pic Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
SpAct Pic Queen (Danaus gilippus)

Return to list of families

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 05:06:44 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]