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Butterflies Around Las Vegas
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas

Butterflies (Taxonomic Order: Lepidoptera; or commonly "lepidopterans") are insects with two pairs of membranous wings. Butterflies tend to be brightly colored, fly during the day, and tend to rest with their wings held together vertically over their back. The antennae of butterflies originate close together on the head, and there is a blunt knob on the tip of the antennae.

Adult butterflies may or may not feed, but they all fly, mate, and lay eggs. Many species are quite specific in their needs; they will only feed and lay eggs on certain species of plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which range from big and green to small and hairy, plus everything in between. Caterpillars feed, grow, and then become dormant, forming in a silken cocoon or just hiding in the soil. While dormant, they (now a pupa) metamorphose into the adult form, then "hatch" into a fully formed adult ... and the cycle of life repeats.

While a few species of lepidopterans are agricultural pests, most a harmless. Lepidopterans function in the desert ecosystem as important pollinators and important food sources for a variety of mammals, lizards, birds, and amphibians. They are also a delight to watch and add magnificent color to the desert scenery.

There are many species of butterflies around Las Vegas. I have no intention of listing them all; my intent is to present a few interesting species that caught my eye.

For More Information: See the Butterflies and Moths website.

American Snout Butterfly (Libytheana carinenta) Brush-footed Butterflies


American Snout Butterfly (Libytheana carinenta)
Arizona Sister (Adelpha eulalia)
California Patch (Chlosyne californica)
California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica)
Comma (Polygonia spp.)
Greater Fritillary (Speyeria spp.)
Lorquin's Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)
Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia)
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Northern Checkerspot (Chlosyne palla)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Satyr Comma (Polygonia satyrus)
Texan Crescent (Anthanassa texana)
Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona)
Weidemeyer's Admiral (Limenitis weidemeyerii)
West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella)
Zephyr Anglewing (Polygonia zephyrus)
Zerene Fritillary (Speyeria zerene)

Mount Charleston Blue (Icaricia shasta charlestonensis) Gossamer-wing


Edith's Copper (Lycaena editha)
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
Marine Blue (Leptotes marina)
Reakirt's Blue (Echinargus isola)
Ruddy Copper (Lycaena rubidus)
Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)
Spring Mountains Icarioides Blue (Icaricia icarioides austinorum)
Unidentified Blues (Polyommatinae)

Riodinidae Metalmarks
Photo courtesy of Bruce Marlin.
Swallowtail Parnassians and Swallowtails


Clodius Parnassian (Parnassius clodius)
Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)
Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae) Whites and Sulphurs



Desert Marble (Euchloe lotta)
Western White (Pontia occidentalis)
Pine White (Neophasia menapia)


Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 100116

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