Check List of the Butterflies, Skippers and Moths of Arkansas Introduction

Past check lists dealing with the biodiversity of Arkansas’ Lepidoptera have been limited to those species occurring within a specific region, a specific Lepidoptera family or illustrate only a few common species. Among these are Freeman’s work on Arkansas’ Sphingindae (1938), Arkansas’ Hesperiidae (1945) and Arkansas’ Theclinae (1951), Allen and Brown’s (1991) study of the Macrolepidoptera of Magazine Mountain in Logan County, Dodd, Lacki and Rieske’s (2011) study on habitat associations of Lepidoptera in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Rouse’s work on Arkansas’ Papilionidae (1965), Peridae (1969) and Nymphalidae (1970). In her book, Arkansas Butterflies and Moths (2006), Spencer brings together photographs and short discussions dealing with 263 of the state’s most common species. Other works that include specific references to Arkansas species are listed under DATA SOURCES.

Data Sources

Data for this check list results from a combination of three sources: original field collecting, survey of existing institutional and private collections and review of the literature both print and internet. All publications, web sites and collections surveyed are listed along with their abbreviations used in the text. New data will be added to this checklist in a timely manner.

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Original Field Collecting

Field collecting was and continues to be conducted at pre-selected sites across Arkansas. These sites were selected based on their habitat structure: prairie, savanna, cypress swamp, Oak/Hickory upland forest, Pine forest, wet lands, alluvial plain, wildlife management areas, etc. In addition to habitat, each site was also selected due to its sustainability via a managing conservation agency such as The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, The Nature Conservancy, The Arkansas Games and Fish Commissions, the Ozark National Forest, the Arkansas State Parks Department and private land owners. It is intended to repeat sampling on these sites with a reasonable assurance the integrity of these sites will be retained over time. Under permit, collecting trips are made to each site on the average of three times during the collecting season; spring, summer and fall. Collecting methods include netting, using 160W Mercury Vapor and 15-watt UV light attractors and traps baited with fermenting fruit. Collected specimens with appropriate data including GPS number are deposited in the Jim Ettman/Arkansas Tech Lepidoptera Collection, Russellville, Arkansas.

Mercury Vapor Light Apparatus                    Bait Trap Apparatus

light trap photo    bait trap