South Dakota Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

picture of a Checkered White butterfly

Thanks for visiting South Dakota butterflies. Gratography members can easily contribute to the resource by register today.

Including the Skipper butterflies not listed here, South Dakota hosts close to 180 butterfly species.

An expert from South Dakota State University estimates there are approximately 41 species present in all of the states counties.

Visitors will find the best butterfly experiences in the Black Hills, due largely to the geographical diversity of the area.

The bottom of the page provides nine different categories for members to post their stories and pictures of South Dakota butterflies.

Anyone looking for butterfly identification help can press the green butterfly button for more information.

Butterflies: Whites and Yellows

Pieridae is the formal name of the family that consists of the butterflies with white wings and yellow wings. Most states have more of the yellow butterfly species. The presence of Marbles and an Orangetip makes South Dakota more balanced in Pieridae species.

Here’s a list of the rest of the white butterflies and yellow butterflies documented in the state. The picture shows a Checkered White butterfly.

Stella Orangetip
Large Marble
Olympia Marble
Pine White
Margined White
Mustard White
Cabbage White
Checkered White
Western White
Spring White
Great Southern White
Clouded Sulphur
Orange Sulphur
Christina Sulphur
Queen Alexandra’s Sulphur
Southern Dogface
Cloudless Sulphur
Large Orange Sulphur
Barred Yellow
Mexican Yellow
Little Yellow
Sleepy Orange
Dainty Sulphur

Blues, Hairtreaks and Coppers

picture of an Edwards' Hairtreak
Marine Blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Western Tailed-Blue
Spring Azure
Summer Azure
Arrowhead Blue
Silvery Blue
Rocky Mountain Dotted-Blue
Reakirt’s Blue
Melissa Blue
Greenish Blue
Boisduval’s Blue
Shasta Blue
Lupine Blue
Arctic Blue
Juniper Hairstreak
Brown Elfin
Hoary Elfin
Western Pine Elfin
Coral Hairstreak
Acadian Hairstreak
Edwards’ Hairstreak
Banded Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak
American Copper
Gray Copper
Bronze Copper
Ruddy Copper
Purplish Copper

Brush Footed Butterflies

picture of a Regal Fritillary butterfly
The presence of multiple species of fritillaries, checkerspots, commas and other Brush Footed genera explains the diversity in this family. The picture shwos a Regal Fritillary.
Brush footed
American Snout
Gulf Fritillary
Variegated Fritillary
Great Spangled Fritillary
Aphrodite Fritillary
Regal Fritillary
Edwards’ Fritillary
Coronis Fritillary
Zerene Fritillary
Callippe Fritillary
Atlantis Fritillary
Northwestern Fritillary
Mormon Fritillary
Silver-bordered Fritillary
Meadow Fritillary
Red-spotted Purple
White Admiral
Astyanax’ Red-spotted Purple
Weidemeyer’s Admiral
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor
Common Mestra
Silvery Checkerspot
Gorgone Checkerspot
Bordered Patch
Sagebrush Checkerspot
Brush footed
Pale Crescent
Pearl Crescent
Northern Crescent
Tawny Crescent
Field Crescent
Texan Crescent
Chalcedon Checkerspot
Anicia Checkerspot
Common Buckeye
Question Mark
Eastern Comma
Satyr Comma
Green Comma
Hoary Comma
Gray Comma
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell
Compton Tortoiseshell
Mourning Cloak
California Tortoiseshell
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
West Coast Lady
American Lady
Goatweed Leafwing
Northern Pearly-eye
Eyed Brown
Common Ringlet
Little Wood-Satyr
Ridings’ Satyr
Uhler’s Arctic
Common Wood-Nymph
Mead’s Wood-Nymph
Small Wood-Nymph

Butterflies: Swallowtails

picture of a black swallowtail butterfly
South Dakota has an unusually large number of Swallowtail butterfly species. It’s a combination of east meets west and north meets south for the state. Notice the presence of both Eastern and Western Swallowtail butterflies, along with Canadian Tiger Swallowtails and Giant Swallowtails.
  • Rocky Mountain Parnassian
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Zebra Swallowtail
  • Old World Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Anise Swallowtail
  • Indra Swallowtail
  • Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • Western Tiger Swallowtail
  • Pale Swallowtail
  • Two-tailed Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Giant Swallowtail

Butterflies: Metalmarks

picture of a Mormon Metalmark butterfly
  • Mormon Metalmark