Checklist of Michigan Butterflies and Skippers

by Mogens C. Nielsen

Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.
(This is reprinted from the March 1992 Newsletter of the Mich. Ent. Soc.)

Euptychia mitchellii (photo by M.C. Nielsen)


In an effort to alert Michigan lepidopterists and others interested in Michigan's butterfly and skipper fauna, I present this checklist to stimulate further investigation and the addition of new species. Wolcott (1893) was the first known investigator of Michigan's Lepidoptera fauna by reporting 79 species of Rhopalocera from the Grant Rapids area. Subsequent reporters up through Moore (1960), published several minor and annotated checklists of Michigan butterflies and skippers. In 1970, I published additional information on Michigan's butterfly fauna, and added 7 new species. Since 1960, I have maintained a complete file of all subsequent Michigan butterfly and skipper records gained from yearly field trips and many fellow collectors. All questionable records have either been confirmed by the author or examined by specialists. This preliminary list now brings the total number Michigan butterflies and skippers to 157 species, plus three additional subspecies. Also included is a hypothetical list of 20 species that may be collected in Michigan as either residents or strays.

The arrangement and nomenclature follows Hodges (1983) checklist with the exception of two species, Papilio canadensis and Phyciodes pascoensis, now recognized as distinct species. Most likely, Michigan's populations of Celastrina ladon contains two distinct siblings. The common names used are from Opler (1984) and Klassen et al. (1989).

Family Hesperiidae: Skippers

Epargyreus clarus (Cramer). Silver-spotted Skipper.
Urbanus proteus (Linnaeus). Long-tailed Skipper.
Achalarus Iyciades (Geyer). Hoary-edged Skipper.
Thorybes bathyllus (J.E. Smith). Southern Cloudywing.
Thorybes pylades (Scudder). Northern Cloudywing.
Erynnis icelus (Scudder & Burgess). Dreamy Duskywing.
Erynnis brizo (Boisduval & Leconte). Sleepy Duskywing.
Erynnis juvenalis (Fabricius). Juvenal Duskywing.
Erynnis horatius (Scudder & Burgess). Horace's Duskywing.
Erynnis martialis (Scudder). Mottled Duskwing.
Erynnis lucilius (Scudder & Burgess). Columbine Duskwing.
Erynnis baptisiae (Forbes). Wild Indigo Duskywing.
Erynnis persius (Scudder). Persius' Duskywing.
Pyrgus centaureae wyandot (Edwards). Grizzled Skipper.
Pyrgus communis (Grote). Checkered Skipper.
Pholisora catullus (Fabricius). Common Sootywing.
Carterocephalus palaemon mandan (Edwards). Arctic Skipper.
Nastra lherminier (Latrielle). Swarthy Skipper.
Ancyloxypha numitor (Fabricius). Least Skipper.
Oarisma poweshiek (Parker). Poweshiek Skipper.
Thymelicus lineola (Ochsenheimer). European Skipper.
Hylephila phyleus (Drury). Fiery Skipper.
Hesperia comma laurentina (Lyman). Laurentian Skipper.
Hesperia ottoe Edwards. Ottoe Skipper.
Hesperia leonardus Harris. Leonard's Skipper.
Hesperia metea Scudder. Cobweb Skipper.
Hesperia sassacus Harris. Indian Skipper.
Polites coras (Cramer). Yellowpatch Skipper.
Pompeius verna (Edwards). Little Glassywing.
Atalopedes campestris (Boisduval). Sachem Skipper.
Atrytone delaware (Edwards). Delaware Skipper.
Poanes massasoit (Scudder). Mulberry Wing.
Poanes hobomok (Harris). Hobomok Skipper.
Poanes zabulon (Boisduval & Leconte). Zabulon Skipper.
Poanes viator (Edwards). Broad Winged Skipper.
Euphyes dion (Edwards). Dion skipper.
Euphyes dukesi (Lindsey). Dukes' Skipper.
Euphyes conspicua (Edwards). Black Dash.
Euphyes bimacula (Grote & Robinson). Two Spotted Skipper.
Euphyes ruricola metacomet (Harris). Eastern Dun Skipper.
Atrytonopsis hianna (Scudder). Dusted Skipper.
Amblyscirtes hegon (Scudder). Pepper and Salt Skipper.
Amblyscirtes vialis (Edwards). Roadside Skipper.
Lerodea eufala (Edwards). Eufala Skipper.

Family Papilionidae: Swallowtail Butterflies

Battus philenor (Linnaeus). Pipevine Swallowtail
Papilio polyxenes asterius Stoll. Black Swallowtail.
Papilio machaon hudsonianus A.H. Clark. Old World Swallowtail.
Papilio cresphontes Cramer. Giant Swallowtail.
Papilio glaucus Linnaeus. Tiger Swallowtail.
Papilio canadensis Rothschild & Jordan. Canadian Swallowtail.
Papilio troilus Linnaeus. Spicebush Swallowtail.
Eurytides marcellus (Cramer). Zebra Swallowtail.

Family Pieridae: Whites and Suphurs

Pontia protodice (Boisduval & Leconte). Checkered White
Pontia occidentalis (Reakirt). Western White
Artogeia napi oleracea (Harris). Mustard White.
Artogeia virginiensis (Edwards). West Virginia White.
Artogeia rapae (Linnaeus). European Cabbage Butterfly.
Euchloe ausonides mayi F.&R. Chermock. Creamy Marblewhite.
Euchloe olympia (Edwards). Olympia Marblewhite.
Colias philodice Godart. Clouded Sulphur.
Colias eurytheme Boiduval. Orange Sulphur.
Colias interior Scudder. Pink Edged Sulphur.
Zerene cesonia (Stoll). Dog Face.
Phoebis sennae eubule (Linnaeus). Cloudless Sulphur.
Phoebis philea (Johansson). Orange Barred Sulphur.
Eurema lisa Boisduval & Leconte. Little Sulphur.
Eurema nicippe (Cramer). Sleepy Orange.
Eurema mexicanum (Boisduval). Mexican Sulphur.
Nathalis iole Boisduval. Dainty Sulphur.

Lycaenidae: Coppers, Blues, Hairstreaks and Harvesters

Feniseca tarquinius (Fabricius). Harvester.
Lycaena phlaeas americana Harris. American Copper.
Hyllolycaena hyllus (Cramer). Bronze Copper.
Epidemia epixanthe michiganensis (Rawson). Bog Copper.
Epidemia dorcas (Kirby). Dorcas Copper.
Epidemia helliodes (Boisduval). Purplish Copper.
Harkenclenus titus (Fabricius). Coral Hairstreak.
Satyrium acadium (Edwards). Acadian hairstreak.
Satyrium edwardsii (Grote & Robinson). Edwards' Hairstreak.
Satyrium calanus falacer (Godart). Banded Hairstreak.
Satyrium caryaevorum (McDunnough). Hickory Hairstreak.
Satyrium liparops strigosum (Harris). Striped Hairstreak.
Calycopis cecrops (Fabricius). Red Banded Hairstreak.
Incisalia augustus (Kirby). Brown Elfin.
Incisalia polia Cook & Watson. Hoary Elfin.
Incisalia irus (Godart). Frosted Elfin.
Incisalia henrici (Grote & Robinson). Henry's Elfin.
Incisalia niphon clarki Freeman. Pine Elfin.
Incisalia eryphon (Boisduval). Western Pine Elfin.
Euristrymon ontario (Edwards). Northern Hairstreak.
Parrhasius m-album (Boisduval & Leconte). White M Hairstreak.
Strymon melinus humuli (Harris ). Gray Hairstreak.
Erora laetus (Edwards). Early Hairstreak.
Hemiargus isola (Reakirt). Reakirt's Blue.
Everes comyntas (Godart). Eastern Tailed Blue.
Everes amyntula (Boiduval). Western Tailed Blue.
Celastrina ladon (Cramer). Spring Azure.
Glaucopsyche Iygdamus couperi Grote. Silvery Blue.
Lycaeides idas nabokovi Masters. Northern Blue.
Lycaeides melissa samuelis Nabokov. Karner Blue.
Plebejus saepiolus (Boisduval). Saepiolus Blue.

Family Riodinidae:Metalmarks

Calephelis mutica McAlpine. Swamp Metalmark.

Family Libytheidae: Snout Butterflies

Libytheana bachmanii (Kirtland). Snout Butterfly.

Family Nymphalidae: Brush-footed Butterflies

Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius). Question Mark.
Polygonia comma (Harris). Comma.
Polygonia satyrus neomarsyas dos Passos. Satyr Anglewing.
Polygonia faunus (Edwards). Green Comma.
Polygonia zephyrus (Edwards). Zephyr Comma.
Polygonia gracilis (Grote & Robinson). Hoary Comma.
Polygonia progne (Cramer). Gray Comma.
Nymphalis vau-album j-album (Boisduval & Leconte). Compton Tortoise Shell.
Nymphalis californica (Boisduval). California Tortoise Shell.
Nymphalis antiopa (Linnaeus). Mourning Cloak.
Aglais milberti (Godart). Milbert's Tortoise Shell.
Vanessa virginensis (Drury). American Painted Lady.
Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus). Painted Lady.
Vanessa atalanta rubria (Fruhstorfer). Red Admiral.
Junonia coenia (Hubner). Buckeye.
Euptoieta claudia (Cramer). Variegated Fritillary.
Speyeria cybele cybele (Fabricius). Great Spangled Fritillary.
Speyeria cybele krautwunni (Holland). Krautwurm's Fritillary.
Speyeria aphrodite (Fabricius). Aphrodite Fritillary.
Speyeria idalia (Drury). Regal Fritillary.
Speyeria atlantis (Edwards). Mountain Fritillary.
Proclossiana eunomia dawsoni (Barnes & McDunnough). Bog Fritillary.
Clossiana selene myrina (Cramer). Silver Bordered Fritillary.
Clossiana selene atrocostalis (Huard). Bog Silver Bordered Fritillary.
Clossiana bellona (Fabricius). Meadow Fritillary.
Clossiana frigga saga (Staudinger). Frigga Fritillary.
Clossiana freija (Thunberg). Freija Fritillary.
Phyciodes tharos (Drury). Pearl Crescent.
Phyciodes pascoensis Wright. Northern Pearl Crescent.
Phyciodes batesii (Reakirt). Tawny Crescent.
Charidryas gorgone carlota (Reakirt). Gorgone Checkerspot.
Charidryas nycteis (Doubleday). Silvery Checkerspot.
Charidryas harrisii (Scudder). Harris' Checkerspot.
Euphydryas phaeton (Drury). Baltimore.
Basilarchia arthemis arthemis (Drury). White Admiral.
Basilarchia arthemis astyanax (Fabricius). Red Spotted Purple.
Basilarchia archippus (Cramer). Viceroy.

Family Apaturidae: Leaf Wings and Hackberry Butterflies

Anaea andria Scudder. Goatweed Butterfly.
Asterocampa celtis (Boisduval & Leconte). Hackberry Butterfly.
Asterocampa clyton (Boisduval & Leconte). Tawny Emperor.

Family Satyridae: Satyrs, Wood Nymphs and Arctics

Enodia anthedon A.H. Clark, Northern Pearly Eye.
Enodia creola (Skinner). Creole Pearly Eye.
Satyrodes eurydice (Johansson). Northern Eyed Brown.
Satyrodes appalachia leeuwi (Gatrelle & Arbogast). Appalachian Eyed Brown.
Neonympha mitchellii French. Mitchell's Satyr.
Megisto cymela (Cramer). Little Wood Satyr.
Coenonympha inornata Edwards. Inornate Ringlet.
Cercyonis pegala nephele (Kirby). Wood Nymph.
Erebia discoidalis (Kirby). Red-disked Alpine.
Oeneis macounii (Edwards). Macoun's Arctic.
Oeneis chryxus strigulosa McDunnough. Chryxus Arctic.
Oeneis jutta ascerta Masters & Sorenson. Jutta Arctic

Family Danaidae: Milkweed Butterflies

Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus). Monarch.
Danaus gilippus berenice (Cramer). Queen.

Hypothetical List

This list includes butterflies and skippers that may be recorded as either resident (R) or stray (S) species. All of these species have been reported from adjacent states and Canada.

Family Hesperiidae: Staphylus hayhuntii (Edwards). Southern Sooty Wing (R); Erynnis funereal (Scudder & Burgess). Funereal Dusky Wing (S); Lerema accius (J.E. Smith). Clouded Skipper (S); Oarisma garita (Reakirt). Garita Skipper (R); Polites vibex (Geyer). Whirlabout (S); Atrytone arogos (Boisduval & Leconte). Arogos Skipper (S); Problema byssus (Edwards). Byssus Skipper (R); Calpodes ethlius (Stoll). Brazilian Skipper (S); Panoquina ocola (Edwards). Ocola Skipper (S);

Family Pieridae: Ascia monuste phileta (Fabricius). Great Southern White (S); Anthocharis midea (Hubner). Falcate Orange-tip (R); Colias gigantea Strecker. Large Willow Sulphur (R); Phoebis agarithe maxima (Neumoegen). Large Orange Sulphur (S);

Family Lycaenidae: Gaeides xanthoides dione (Scudder). Great Copper (R); Mitoura gryneus (Hubner). Olive Hairstreak (R); Leptotes marina (Reakirt). Marine Blue (S);

Family Riodinidae: Calephelis borealis (Grote & Robinson). Northern Metalmark (R);

Family Nymphalidae: Agraulis vanillae (Linnaeus). Gulf Fritillary (S); Clossiana titania grandis (Barnes & McDunnough). Purple Lesser Fritillary (R);

Family Satyridae: Erebia disa mancinus Doubleday & Hewitson. Disa Alpine (R).


Hodges, Ronald W., et al. (editors), 1983. List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. London: E.W. Classey Ltd. and Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, 284 pp.

Klassen, P. et al., 1989. The Butterflies of Manitoba. Winnipeg, Manitoba Mus. Man and Nature, 290 pp.

Moore, Sherman, 1960. A Revised Annotated List of the Butterflies of Michigan. Occ. Papers Mus. Zool. Univ. Mich., 617: 39 pp.

Nielsen, M.C., 1970. New Michigan Butterfly Records, Jour. Lepid. Soc., 24: 42-47.

Opler, P. and G. Krizek, 1984. Butterflies East of the Great Plains. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins Univ. Press, 583 pp.

Wolcott, R.H., 1893. The Butterflies of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Canad. Ent., 25: 98-107.

This page updated 12/31/95 by M.F. O'Brien

For a more updated checklist, go the list provided by the Michigan Lepidoptera Survey