Butterflies of North America
The Butterflies of North America Web site is a "work in progress," consisting primarily of the following information:
Distribution maps showing the counties in which occurrence of a particular species has been verified
Photos of the adult and caterpillar (when available)
Species accounts containing information on size, identifying characteristics, life history, flight, caterpillar hosts, adult food, habitat, species range, conservation status, and management needs
Species checklists for each county in the U. S. and state in northern Mexico
In addition to the above information, users looking to identify an unknown butterfly can browse our collection of thumbnail photos and jump to a particular species account and distribution
map (Please do not send species identification inquiries to the authors of this Web site or The Registry of Nature Habitats.
Because it is a "work in progress," the Butterflies of North America Web site is constantly being updated. Additional families, photos, and species accounts are being added as funds and time permit, and distribution maps of species that are already covered are being updated as new county records are established. Distribution maps are currently limited to states of the conterminous United States and northern Mexico. Data for Canadian provinces will be added in the future.
County records, unless for an immediately recognizable species, are based on museum specimens, authoritative monographs or other publications, or records from recognized experts. Visitors to the site will find that species occurrence information is more complete for some counties than others, owing to the fact that survey effort and reporting (current and past) vary among counties.
Visitors to the site can make a valuable contribution by helping to establish new county records for species that are presently included in the site. If you find a species or record of a species in a county beyond its confirmed range, as shown in the species distribution map, there is a good chance that you can advance our knowledge by reporting your discovery. However, new county records can only be established after your identification has been confirmed by an expert. This is a necessary step in the process because many species of butterflies are easily confused with one another. Verification requires either a clear photograph that shows the scientifically-accepted diagnostic features of the species or an actual specimen.