Butterflies Home Page

Backyard butterflies

These can be found in backyards and along streets throughout the city.

Anise Swallowtail
Papilio zelicaon
Western Tiger Swallowtail
Papilio rutulus
Cabbage White
Pieris rapae
Echo Blue, or Spring Azure
Celastrina [ladon] echo
Red Admiral
Vanessa atalanta
Painted Lady
Vanessa cardui
West Coast Lady
Vanessa annabella
Umber Skipper
Poanes melane

Butterflies of open spaces

Look for these in the parks and open spaces of San Francisco. Some are very local!

Pipevine Swallowtail
Battus philenor
Large Marble
Euchloe ausonides
Orange Sulphur
Colias eurytheme
Coastal Green Hairstreak
Callophrys dumetorum (syn. viridis)
Acmon Blue
Plebejus acmon
Gulf Fritillary
Agraulis vanillae
American Lady
Vanessa virginiensis
Field Crescent
Phyciodes pulchellus (syn. campestris)
California Tortiseshell
Nymphalis californica
Mourning Cloak
Nymphalis antiopa
Common Buckeye
Junonia coenia
California [Common] Ringlet
Coenonympha [tullia] california
Danaus plexippus
Common Checkered-Skipper
Pyrgus communis
Fiery Skipper
Hylephila phyleus
Sandhill Skipper
Polites sabuleti
Woodland Skipper
Ochlodes sylvanoides

Rare (in SF) butterflies

A number of these can be easily found on San Bruno Mountain, or elsewhere in the bay area, sometimes even abundantly, but all are difficult to find in San Francisco.

Gray Hairstreak
Strymon melinus
Western Pygmy-Blue
Brephidium exile
Silvery Blue
Glaucopsyche lygdamus
California Sister
Adelpha bredowii
Variable (or Chalcedon) Checkerspot
Euphydryas chalcedona
Mylitta Crescent
Phyciodes mylitta
Rural Skipper
Ochlodes agricola

Accidental species

These have been recorded in San Francisco, but only as rare strays.

Checkered White
Pontia protodice
Funereal Duskywing
Erynnis funeralis

San Bruno specialties

Callippe Fritillary
Speyeria callippe callippe
San Bruno Elfin
Callophrys mossii
Brown Elfin
Callophrys augustinus
"Mission" Boisduval's Blue
Plebejus icarioides missionensis
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