The butterflies are among the most beautiful things you can see in nature while visiting Kansas.
Kansas has a variety of beautiful butterflies, some of which are just beginning to debut and others that are more common to see throughout the spring and summer months.
The various Types of Butterflies in Kansas can be broken down into four main groups; swallowtail butterflies, brush foot butterflies, skippers, and moths.
Each group of butterflies has its unique appearance, so next time you’re out in nature, don’t forget to look up!
1. Red Admiral
The Red Admiral is among the Types of Butterflies in Kansas that has a wingspan ranging from 1.8-2.4 inches. It is one of the few butterflies that overwinter as adults and can be found year-round in North America, including Kansas.
These types of Butterflies in Kansas are usually seen near woodland edges and forest clearings, where it feeds on low-growing flowers like vetches, clover, yarrows, and thistles.
They also love to drink honeydew secreted by aphids or suck the juice from fruits such as blackberries and elderberries.
2. Painted Lady
The Painted Lady is one of the most recognizable species of butterfly. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are brightly colored butterflies that are about four inches long.
These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are often found in the eastern United States but can be found as far south as Central America and as far north as Canada. There are two main types of Painted Ladies: Northern and Southern varieties.
The Monarch butterfly is a species found primarily in the eastern and central United States and southern Canada.
However, these Types of Butterflies in Kansas are most common across much of the Eastern United States. Monarchs can often be seen feeding on milkweed plants, which contain toxic substances that make them distasteful to predators.
One type of butterfly you can find in Kansas is the monarch! These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are black, orange, and white striped. They are best known for yearly migration from Mexico to Canada for the winter months.
These butterflies feed on milkweed plants which contain toxic substances that make them taste harmful to predators.
4. American Lady
The American Lady is among one of the most well-known types of butterflies in Kansas. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are found across the state and come out between April and October. They are hard to miss because they are one of the few butterflies with black bodies.
Another thing that sets them apart is their large wingspan, which can reach up to six inches! As adults, they feed on nectar from flowers and fruit juices. Their larvae feed on leaves for about two weeks before pupating into a cocoon for about ten days.
The caterpillar has an orange head with black bands along its body.
The viceroy butterfly is one of the most common types of butterflies in Kansas. It is a medium-sized butterfly with black wings and orange or yellow stripes. They are not a type of monarch but are more closely related to the milkweed family.
The ruler has several different color varieties seen throughout the state. One type commonly seen near gardens and fields is the white-banded ruler, with three white bands on its wings and some yellow stripes.
Another type seen around this area is the reddish-brown ruler, which has two white bands on its wings with no yellow stripes.
6. Hackberry Emperor
The Hackberry Emperor is one of the types of butterflies you can find in Kansas. It is a large butterfly with a wingspan reaching up to four inches!
These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are usually seen from March to October in open fields and pastures.
The Hackberry Emperor is one of the types of butterflies you can find in Kansas. It is a large butterfly with a wingspan reaching up to four inches! They are usually seen in open fields and pastures from March to October.
7. Red-Spotted Purple
One of the Types of Butterflies in Kansas you might see in the state is the Red-Spotted Purple. It’s a large butterfly with a wingspan of about 4 inches long.
They are usually brown with red or purple spots. They are found primarily on the eastern side of Kansas and some counties on the western side.
Adults feed on nectar and can be seen near flowering plants such as milkweed, thistles, and oxeye daisies. Their caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed plants and can be found at ground level or high up in trees where their food plant grows.
8. Mourning Cloak
The Mourning Cloak butterfly is a species found all over the world. These types of Butterflies in Kansas are large and brown and have a wingspan that reaches four inches. These fly during the day and can be identified by their long antennae.
These types of Butterflies in Kansas are one of the giant ones you are likely to find in Kansas, but they will usually fly away before you get close enough to see them up close.
You may need to use binoculars or a telescope to get an idea of what they look like as they flit across the landscape, but you’ll only be able to catch glimpses of them before they fly away again.
9. Pearl Crescent
The pearl crescent butterfly is a type of small, brown butterfly. These types of Butterflies in Kansas have white spots on their wings that look like pearls. They are often seen eating nectar from flowers and plants.
About five subspecies live in various parts of the United States, such as the Pearl Crescent (Euphydryas anicia), mostly east of the Rocky Mountains, and the Pearl Crescent (Euphydryas editha bayensis), which is found west of the Rocky Mountains.
10. Question Mark
It’s hard to imagine a world without butterflies. These types of Butterflies in Kansas are the most diverse group of insects found on every continent except Antarctica.
So, if you’re thinking about spending some time in Kansas soon, it might be worthwhile to learn a little bit about the various butterflies found here!
one of these many butterflies in Kansas is Question Mark (silly name, right?) Their coloring is deep orange with black spots and a lavender edge. Question Mark butterflies,s have a wingspan of 2.25 to 3 inches.
11. Eastern Comma
The Eastern Comma butterfly is found throughout North America. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are brown with white spots on their wings and comma-shaped spots on them. It can be found in fields, meadows, and gardens, where it feeds on nectar from flowers.
Females lay eggs on leaves, usually near the top or along the edges. Eggs are yellow to greenish when first laid but turn orange before hatching.
Eastern Commas only have one brood per year. Larvae overwinter and pupate between late June and early July to emerge as adults the following year.
12. Common Buckeye
When many people think about butterflies, they typically think about the brightly colored, giant insects that they see flying through their yards or gardens.
Likewise, when most people think about Kansas, they might conjure up pictures of vast fields with rows and corn on either side. However, other types of Butterflies in Kansas can be found throughout the state.
One type is the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), a small butterfly with a brownish-orange color and dark brown wings tipped with black and white spots. Females have a reddish-brown abdomen, while males have a yellow abdomen with black spots.
13. Variegated Fritillary
The variegated fritillary is a small butterfly with bright orange, brown, and white wings. This brightly colored butterfly spends most of its time on the underside of leaves. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are often seen in moist areas near rivers, marshes, and lakes.
Variegated fritillaries are usually found between late May to early October. The variegated fritillary feeds on milkweed plants which contain toxic chemicals that make the butterfly unpalatable to predators.
Adults lay eggs singly on milkweed leaves or flowers, where they will stay until they hatch into caterpillars that feed on the plant’s leaves and flowers.
14. Great Spangled Fritillary
The Great Spangled Fritillary is a large butterfly, with males generally more prominent than females. Males can be found on the wing from May to September, while females are only on the wing for two weeks during July and August.
Males have black wings with orange and white tips, while females are brownish-orange with wide dark borders.
These Types of Butterflies in Kansas undersides are primarily dark brown or black with a white band near the outer edge of each hindwing.
Females lay eggs at night by inserting them into plant leaves, but their eggs do not hatch until the following year!
15. Silver-Bordered Fritillary
The silver-bordered fritillary (Speyeria Artaxerxes) is one of Kansas’s many types of butterflies. This butterfly has a wingspan that ranges from 1.5 to 3 inches, and they are light yellow with black dots and orange spots on their wings.
These butterflies are often found around flowers such as aster, goldenrod, thistles, or wild carrot.
These types of Butterflies in Kansas are also easily spotted because they frequently visit gardens and yards where people grow these flowers for decoration.
These types of Butterflies in Kansas prefer to eat violets but settle for other nectar plants if necessary.
16. Common Wood-Nymph
The Common Wood-Nymph is one of Kansas’s most common types of Butterflies. These types of Butterflies in Kansas are found primarily on forest edges and are mainly active in the morning.
The wingspan ranges from 1.5 to 2 inches, and it’s a dark brown color with light spots on its forewings. This butterfly is typically mistaken for an Indian Cabbage Butterfly, but the latter is usually not seen in open woodlands like the Common Wood-Nymph.
17. Little Wood Satyr
The Little Wood Satyr is a small species of butterfly that can be found all over the world. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas have dark brown wings with red markings and are typically seen in deciduous forests or woodlands.
These types of Butterflies in Kansas primarily feed on rotting fruit them relatively easy to spot. This species does not migrate but stays within its range of the year. Males and females look similar, although females are slightly larger.
18. American Snout
The American Snout Butterfly, otherwise known y Hairstreak (Calycopis Americana), is a common butterfly of North America.
Its wingspan is usually 1-1/2 to 2 inches long; males are gray with black markings, while females are brownish-gray with white spots and lines on the wings. It breeds across much of Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico.
It can be found in meadows, hedges, and wooded areas where it feeds on flowers such as goldenrod, dandelion, milkweed, and Queen Anne’s lace.
Males will roost at these flowers during the day before mating with the female during flight at dusk or dawn. Females lay eggs singly on plants from which they have just eaten nectar.
These Types of Butterflies in Kansas will also visit oak trees for sap that attracts other insects for an easy meal for their larvae.
Azure butterflies are usually found in the southern United States, and their flight season is year-round. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas come from the subfamily Polyommatinae, one of the largest subfamilies within the family Lycaenidae.
It is estimated that there are about 700 different species of Azure butterflies known to exist.
They are so common that they are often confused with other species like Grecian and Aphrodite blues which also have blue wings.
One way to tell these two apart is by looking at the underside of their wings, which will be black on Azure but white on Grecian and Aphrodite blues.
20. Eastern Tailed-Blue
The Eastern tailed-blue is a beautiful butterfly with a wingspan from 1.5 to 2 inches wide. It has a blue body with distinctive orange and black markings on its underside, and the males have small tails at the end of their abdomens. Males also have blue spots on their upper wing surfaces, while females do not.
These Types of Butterflies in Kansas can be found throughout eastern North America, from Canada to Florida and west to Missouri and Texas.
These butterflies are commonly seen along streamsides, ponds, meadows, wooded areas, and roadside weeds during warm weather (March through October), where they lay eggs on the leaves of plants,s including grasses, sedges, rushes, nettles, and smartweeds.
21. Gray Hairstreak
The Gray Hairstreak butterfly is a species that has been on the decline. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are most commonly found east of the Rocky Mountains, including parts of Canada and the United States.
The Gray Hairstreak is recognized by its gray color and black-and-white striped wings. Its body size ranges from 2 to 4 centimeters, with a wingspan of up to 10 centimeters.
These butterflies will feed primarily on fruit trees but can also eat other types of plants as well. Female Gray Hairstreaks lay their eggs on or near host plants for the larvae to consume later.
22. Coral Hairstreak
The Coral Hairstreak is a medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of 1.5 to 2 inches. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas can be identified by the three black spots on its lower wing, which are surrounded by a white circle.
They are most often seen near flowering plants and trees, where they enjoy drinking nectar and feeding on pollen.
Females lay their eggs on host plants like Virginia Creeper, so if you see these butterflies around your garden, you can rest assured that they won’t bother your vegetables!
23. Banded Hairstreak
The Banded Hairstreak is a small butterfly, with males and females having similar markings. They are brown above and orange below, with a cream-colored band across the forewings.
Males have an orange patch on the hind wing that is lacking in females. These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are found in open areas throughout eastern North America, but it is not widespread.
24. Black Swallowtail
The black swallowtail is a large, black, and yellow butterfly you can find worldwide. This particular species can be found as far north as Canada and south as Argentina.
One thing that sets these Types of Butterflies in Kansas apart from other types is their long tails with a row of yellow spots on them.
These types of Butterflies in Kansas feed on various plants, like carrots, dandelions, and clovers. It will brighten your day if you’re lucky enough to see one!
Black Swallowtails have great life spans, so if you are spot on,e make sure to take a picture for remembrance’s sake.
For anyone in the Midwest, check out these milkweed patches near water sources for sightings of Black Swallowtails.
In Kansas, there are three subspecies: Anna’s Black Swallowtail, Giant Black Swallowtail, and Queen Alexandra’s Black Swallowtail.
25. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is one of the most common and recognizable types of Butterflies in Kansas. It can be spotted coast to coast, except for Canada.
There are 10 subspecies, including the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, which is indigenous to Canada and extends into the northern United States.
This butterfly’s life cycle typically lasts from two to four weeks, depending on the host plants’ temperature, humidity, and availability.
Females lay their eggs on a host plant like clover or dandelion that contains a type of chemical called pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This chemical provides an anti-herbivore defense for its leaves. Eggs usually hatch within 3-5 days.
26. Spicebush Swallowtail
The Spicebush Swallowtail is a beautiful butterfly found primarily in eastern North America, including Canada and the United States.
These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are often seen near damp areas with plants from the genus Lindera, which include spicebush, swamp privet, and sassafras.
Spicebush Swallowtails are on the smaller side and will grow to be around three inches long as adults. They have red markings on their wings with black bands that run across them and two rows of red spots running along their abdomens.
Spicebush Swallowtails can be seen throughout all four seasons, but they are most commonly spotted in late summer and early fall when mating.
27. Cabbage White
The cabbage white is one of the most common Types of Butterflies in Kansas. It is a small butterfly that does not fly very high off the ground, making it easy for people to spot them. Cabbage whites are known for their white wings with red and yellow spots.
Although they do not have as many colors as some other types of butterflies, they are still beautiful to look at them. For this reason, many people like to keep them as pets inside their houses.
The cabbage white gets its name because it eats plants from the mustard family, such as cabbages and mustards. They can be found throughout much of North America and worldwide.
28. Orange Sulphur
Orange Sulphurs are found in many places across the eastern United States, but not far west of Kansas. These butterflies can be found in Canada, Georgia, and Missouri.
These types of Butterflies in Kansas are shared between April and July, but some adults may survive until October.
This is an orange butterfly with a yellow band across the middle of its wings. It has a forewing length between 2-3/4 and 4-1/2, which is significant for a butterfly.
It has blue eyespots on each wing and two spots near the tip of each forewing. The underside of its wings is usually grayish brown, while its top side is bright orange.
29. Clouded Sulphur
Clouded sulfur is one of North America’s most abundant and widespread butterflies. These types of Butterflies in Kansas are found from southern Canada to south Texas and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains.
Clouded Sulphurs are also called sulfurs because they have yellow bodies with orange spots on their wings that look like drops of sunlight shining through a cloudy sky.
In late summer and fall, you can find these Types of Butterflies in Kansas crawling on milkweed plants or sitting on leaves or flowers to digest their food.
If you’re lucky enough to spot one, don’t be alarmed when they suddenly open its wings and flies away!
30. Cloudless Sulphur
The Cloudless Sulphur is a medium-sized, primarily yellow butterfly with black edges. It has a wingspan of about three inches and is a common sight during summer.
This butterfly ranges from northern Mexico up to Canada, but it can also be found as far south as Florida and Texas, though it doesn’t breed there.
These types of Butterflies in Kansas prefer open areas like prairies and meadows where they can lay their eggs on the wildflowers that grow there.
Males will find females by checking nearby flowers for an egg-laying female. When he finds one, he will release a pheromone to attract her attention so he can mate with her.
31. Little Sulphur
Little Sulphurs are common across the United States and can be found year-round. It is sometimes confused with the Glassy Blue butterfly, but they have a lot of different coloring and sizes. Little Sulphurs are usually yellow with brown patches on their wings.
These Types of Butterflies in Kansas are typically smaller than other butterflies you will find around the world.
Their wingspan ranges from 2 inches to 3 1/2 inches long. Female Little Sulphurs are often bright orange or red with black spots or stripes on their back wings, while males are primarily white and blue.
Kansas is home to many butterflies, from the tiny checkered butterfly to the giant swallowtail. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common Types of Butterflies in Kansas found in this great state and how you can protect these winged wonders.
If you’re lucky enough to spot a monarch, purchase milkweed for your garden or plant it nearby. This plant, which grows wild throughout Kansas, is the sole food source for monarch caterpillars; without it, they will eventually die.
If you see an orange and black butterfly with white stripes on its wings, consider yourself fortunate-you’ve probably seen an eastern tiger swallowtail!
These are some of the most prominent types of Butterflies in Kansas found in our state, and their distinctive coloration quickly identifies them.