LIST: South Texas Butterfly List

South TX Butterflies


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Malachite – Photograph by Alex Lamoreaux

This is an in-progress, cumulative listing of all 89 butterfly species definitively documented on our spring and fall ‘Rio Grande Valley’ birding tours between 2016 and 2020. Although our two annual birding tours are scheduled for the peak bird activity during the spring and fall migrations each year, the Rio Grande Valley is also a butterfly mecca and it’s hard to ignore the incredible diversity of species we encounter while visiting the birding hotspots of the region. The subtropical climate of South Texas brings together the largest diversity of butterflies in the country, with US species meeting Mexican species along the Lower Rio Grande River. Remnant and restored natural areas throughout the Valley’s refuges and parks in addition to urban, exotic plantings combine to provide an assortment of habitats that support a truly dizzying number of butterflies. Our tour always take a few moments each day to admire these colorful creatures and document which species we come across. This list is a reference for our South Texas tour sightings. We highly recommend the ‘Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America‘ by Jim Brock and Kenn Kaufman to everyone joining our North American birding tours.

South Texas Butterflies (89 species)



Pipevine Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail

Polydamas Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail

Whites & Sulphurs

Cabbage White

Great Southern White

Clouded Sulphur

Orange Sulphur

Southern Dogface

Sleepy Orange

Tailed Orange

Dainty Sulphur

Little Yellow

Cloudless Sulphur

Large Orange Sulphur

Orange-barred Sulphur

Lyside Sulphur


Gray Hairstreak

Ruddy Hairstreak

Marius Hairstreak

Dusky-blue Groundstreak

Great Purple Hairstreak

Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak

Red-crescent Hairstreak


Western Pygmy-Blue

Ceraunus Blue

Reakirt’s Blue


Fatal Metalmark

Red-bordered Metalmark

Red-bordered Pixie

Longwings & Fritillaries

Zebra Heliconian

Gulf Fritillary

Julia Heliconian

Variegated Fritillary

Crescents & Checkerspots

Pearl Crescent

Phaon Crescent

Vesta Crescent

Theona Checkerspot

Elada Checkerspot

Silvery Checkerspot

Texan Crescent

Bordered Patch

Typical Brushfoots

Question Mark

Red Admiral

American Lady

Common Buckeye

White Peacock

Banded Peacock


Red-spotted Admiral


Common Mestra

Red Rim

Mexican Bluewing

Gray Cracker

Tropical Leafwing

Hackberry Emperor

Empress Leilia

Tawny Emperor

American Snout





Little Wood-Satyr

Red Satyr

South Texas Satyr

Spread-wing Skippers

Northern Cloudywing

Long-tailed Skipper

Dorantes Longtail

Brown Longtail

Teleus Longtail

White-striped Longtail

Sickle-winged Skipper

Common Checkered-White

Tropical Checkered-White

Laviana White-Skipper

Turk’s-Cap White-Skipper

Common Sootywing

Grass Skippers

Fiery Skipper



Southern Skipperling

Clouded Skipper

Southern Broken-Dash

Dun Skipper

Common Mellana

Celia’s Roadside-Skipper

Eufala Skipper

Brazilian Skipper

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