Types of Butterflies in Kentucky

There are about 150 different butterfly species in Kentucky, of which 59 are ‘true’ butterflies and 25 are skippers. Kentucky is famous for its bluegrass region, where some of the beautiful species inhabit. The other places where butterflies reside include the Cumberland and Appalachian Mountain area, Shawnee Hills, Central Hill, and Valley area, and lowlands along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Some common species include the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Viceroy, Orange Sulphur, Red Admiral, Mourning Cloak, Monarch, Silver-spotted Skipper, the Falcate Orangetip, Olympia Marble, Harvester, and Baltimore Checkerspot.

The Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) is the state butterfly of this southeastern U.S. state.

Butterflies in Kentucky (KY)

Brush-Footed (Nymphalidae)

Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae)

  • Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius)
  • American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas americana)
  • Bronze Copper (Hyllolycaena hyllus)
  • Great Purple Hairstreak (Atlides halesus)
  • Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus mopsus)
  • Acadian Hairstreak (Satyrium acadicum)
  • Edwards’ Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii)
  • Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus falacer)
  • Hickory Hairstreak (Satyrium caryaevorum)
  • Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops strigosum)
  • Oak Hairstreak /’Northern’ Southern Hairstreak (Satyrium favonius ontario
  • Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)
  • Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus)
  • Brown Elfin (Callophrys augustus)
  • Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus)
  • Henry’s Elfin (Callophrys henrici)
  • Eastern Pine Elfin (Callophrys niphon)
  • White M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album)
  • Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
  • Early Hairstreak (Erora laeta)
  • Marine Blue (Leptotes marina)
  • Eastern Tailed Blue (Everes comyntas)
  • Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)
  • Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta)
  • Appalachian Azure (Celastrina neglectamajor)
  • Duzky Azure (Celastrina nigra)
  • Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus

Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae)

  • Checkered White (Pontia protodice)
  • West Virginia White (Pieris virginiensis)
  • Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
  • Olympia Marble (Euchloe olympia)
  • Falcate Orangetip (Anthocaris midea)
  • Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)
  • Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
  • Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia)
  • Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
  • Orange-barred Sulphur (Phoebis philea)
  • Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe)
  • Lyside Sulphur (Kricogonia lyside)
  • Little Sulphur (Eurema lisa)
  • Sleepy Orange (Eurema nicippe)
  • Mexican Yellow (Eureuma mexicanum)
  • Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole)

Metalmark (Riodinidae)

  • Northern Metalmark (Calephelis borealis)
  • Swamp Metalmark (Calephelis muticum)

Swallowtail (Papilionidae)

Skipper (Hesperiidae)

  • Yucca Giant-Skipper (Megathymus yuccae)
  • Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius)
  • Dreamy Duskywing (Erynnis icelus)
  • Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)
  • Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis)
  • Mottled Duskywing (Erynnis martialis)
  • Juvenal’s Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis)
  • Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo)
  • Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae)
  • Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco)
  • Confusing Cloudywing (Thorybes confusis)
  • Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades)
  • Southern Cloudywing (Thorybes bathyllus)
  • Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)
  • Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus centaureae)
  • Common Sootywing (Pholisora catullus)
  • Hayhurst’s Scallopwing (Staphylus hayhurstii)
  • Golden Banded-Skipper (Autochton cellus)
  • Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades)
  • Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus)
  • Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)