Kentucky Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

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picture of a Viceroy Butterfly the state butterfly of Kentucky, part of the Kentucky butterflies series

Welcome to Kentucky butterflies. Gratography members can easily contribute. Register today.

The top picture shows a Viceroy Butterfly the state’s official butterfly.

The state’s approximately one hundred and sixty butterfly species are well known and documented by county. About fifteen percent of the population has only a handful of sightings associated with them.

This presentation provides a list of the butterflies arranged according to family. It includes pictures of some representative species. Anyone looking for butterfly identification help can press the green butterfly button for more information.

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows


picture of a lyside sulphur, part of the Kentucky butterfly collection
Butterflies with white wings and yellow wings belong to the same family and Kentucky butterflies lean to the yellow wing category for diversity. The picture shows a Lyside sulphur butterfly. Here’s a list of the rest of the white butterflies and yellow butterflies documented in the state.
Whites
Falcate Orangetip
Olympia Marble
West Virginia White
Cabbage White
Checkered White
Yellows
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Southern Dogface
Cloudless Sulphur
Large Orange Sulphur
Lyside Sulphur
Little Yellow
Sleepy Orange
Dainty Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers


picture of a red-banded hairstreak
Kentucky’s hairstreak population is the most interesting of the Gossamer Wing butterflies in the state. The picture shows a Red-banded Hairstreak, common throughout the South.
Blues
Marine Blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Summer Azure
Dusky Azure
Appalachian Azure
Silvery Blue
Hairstreaks
Great Purple Hairstreak
Juniper Hairstreak
Brown Elfin
Frosted Elfin
Henry’s Elfin
Eastern Pine Elfin
Oak Hairstreak
Northern’ Southern Hairstreak
Coral Hairstreak
Acadian Hairstreak
Hickory Hairstreak
Edwards’ Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Red-banded Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
White-M Hairstreak
Early Hairstreak
Coppers
Harvester
American Copper
Bronze Copper

Brush Footed Butterflies


picture of a Red-spotted Admiral butterfly from a side view
Kentucky gardens are filled with species from the Brush Footed family. Visitors from the east will see many species that have in their own gardens. The picture shows a Red-spotted Purple, a member of the Admirals. It has a distinctively non-orange wing color. The remainder of the Kentucky royalty species, i.e., the Monarch, Viceroy, Emperors do have orange color in their wings.
Brush footed
American Snout
Monarch
Gulf Fritillary
Variegated Fritillary
Diana Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Aphrodite Fritillary
Regal Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple
arthemis White Admiral
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Viceroy
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor
Silvery Checkerspot
Gorgone Checkerspot
Phaon Crescent
Pearl Crescent
Tawny Crescent
Brush footed
Baltimore Checkerspot
Common Buckeye
White Peacock
Question Mark
Eastern Comma
Green Comma
Gray Comma
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell
Compton Tortoiseshell
Mourning Cloak
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
American Lady
Goatweed Leafwing
Southern Pearly-eye
Northern Pearly-eye
Creole Pearly-eye
Appalachian Brown
Gemmed Satyr
Little Wood-Satyr
Viola’s Wood-Satyr
Carolina Satyr
Common Wood-Nymph

Butterflies: Swallowtails


picture of a Giant Swallowtail
The large size of the average Swallowtail butterfly means that visitors to Kentucky cannot possibly miss them as they fly around residential areas and gardens. Because of the state’s geographic situation, it also hosts most of the southern species along with some mountain species. Kentucky is certainly a great place to catch up on Swallowtail butterfly watching. The picture shows a Giant Swallowtail.
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Polydamas Swallowtail
  • Zebra Swallowtail
  • Ozark Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Palamedes Swallowtail
  • Giant Swallowtail

Butterflies: Metalmarks


picture of a Swamp Metalmark
  • Northern Metalmark
  • Swamp Metalmark

Butterfly identification usually begins with color. So, the butterfly section is split into nine different categories based on wing color and/or the butterfly family to help all visitors and members easily categorize and document their butterfly pictures.