A checklist of the butterflies to be found in South Australia
and details of their conservation status.


Superfamily HESPERIOIDEA (skippers)
Anisynta cynone cynone Cynone Grass-skipper V
Anisynta cynone gracilis Cynone Grass-skipper R
Dispar compacta Barred Grass-skipper L
Signeta flammeata Bright Shield-skipper R
Trapezites eliena Eliena Rush-skipper V
Trapezites luteus luteus Rare White-spot Rush-skipper V
Trapezites phigalia Phigalia Rush-skipper V
Trapezites sciron eremicola Sciron Rush-skipper R
Trapezites symmomus soma Symmomus Rush-skipper V
Antipodia atralba Black and White Sedge-skipper R
Croitana arenaria arenaria Inland Grass-skipper R
Croitana arenaria pilepudla Kimba Grass-skipper R
Herimosa albovenata albovenata White-veined Grass-skipper V
Proeidosa polysema Spinifex Skipper L
Hesperilla chrysotricha cyclospila Chrysotricha Sedge-skipper V
Hesperilla donnysa donnysa
- dark forms
Donnysa Sedge-skipper L
Hesperilla donnysa donnysa
- pale form flavescens
Yellowish Sedge-skipper E
Hesperilla idothea idothea Flame Sedge-skipper L
Hesperilla idothea clara Flame Sedge-skipper V
Motasingha trimaculata trimaculata Dingy four-spot Sedge-skipper L
Subfamily HESPERIINAE (darters and swifts)      Tribe TARACTROCERINI
Cephrenes augiades sperthias Orange Palm-dart R(I)
Ocybadistes walkeri Southern Grass-dart L
Taractrocera anisomorpha Orange Grass-dart R
Taractrocera papyria papyria White-banded Grass-dart R


Family PAPILIONIDAE (swallowtails)
Subfamily PAPILIONINAE     Tribe PAPILIONINI (fluted swallowtails)
Papilio aegeus aegeus Orchard Swallowtail (Va)
Papilio anactus Dingy Swallowtail L
Papilio demoleus sthenelus Chequered Swallowtail L(NVa)
Family PIERIDAE (whites and yellows)
Subfamily COLIADINAE (yellows)
Catopsilia pomona pomona Lemon Migrant (NVa)
Catopsilia pyranthe crokera White Migrant (NVa)(IN)
Eurema(Terias) hecabe Large Grass-yellow (NVa)(IN)
Eurema(Terias) smilax Small Grass-yellow (M)
Subfamily PIERINAE (whites)
Appias paulina ega Yellow Albatross (M)
Belenois java teutonia Caper White (M)
Delias aganippe Wood White R(Va)
Elodina padusa Narrow-winged Pearl-white R(Va)
*Pieris rapae rapae Cabbage White C(Va)(I)
Family NYMPHALIDAE (brush-footed butterflies)
Subfamily DANAINAE (milk-sap butterflies)
Danaus chrysippus petilia Lesser Wanderer L(NVa)
Danaus plexippus plexippus Wanderer, Monarch C(Va)
Euploea core corinna Common Crow, Oleander Butterfly (NVa)
Subfamily SATYRINAE (browns)     Tribe SATYRINI     Subtribe HYPOCYSTINA
Geitoneura acantha ocrea Ringed Xenica R
Geitoneura klugii Common Xenica C
Heteronympha cordace wilsoni Bright-eyed Brown E
Heteronympha merope merope Common Brown C
Heteronympha penelope penelope Shouldered Brown L
Oreixenica kershawi kanunda Striped Xenica V
Oreixenica lathoniella herceus Silver Xenica V
Tisiphone abeona albifascia Sword-grass Brown R
Polyura sempronius Tailed Emperor R
Subfamily NYMPHALINAE (nymphs)
Hypolimnas bolina nerina Common Eggfly (NVa)(IN)
Junonia villida calybe Meadow Argus C(M)
Vanessa itea Australian Admiral L(M)
Vanessa kershawi Australian Painted Lady C(M)
Subfamily HELICONIINAE     Tribe ACRAEINI (glasswings)
Acraea andromacha andromacha Glasswing (NVa)
Family LYCAENIDAE (coppers and blues)
Acrodipsas brisbanensis Bronze Ant-blue R
Hypochrysops ignitus ignitus Fiery Jewel V
Lucia limbaria Small Copper R
Tribe OGYRINI (azures)
O. amaryllis species-group
Ogyris abrota Dark-purple Azure R
Ogyris amaryllis meridionalis Amaryllis Azure C
Ogyris amaryllis meridionalis (coastal form) Amaryllis Azure L
Ogyris barnardi delphis Barnard's Azure C
Ogyris olane Olane Azure L
Ogyris oroetes apiculata Silky Azure R
O. genoveva-O. idmo species-group
Ogyris genoveva Genoveva Azure R
Ogyris halmaturia Eastern Large Bronze Azure E
Ogyris subterrestris subterrestris Mallee Bronze Azure V
Ogyris otanes otanes Small Bronze Azure E (on mainland)
Jalmenus icilius Icilius Hairstreak R
Jalmenus lithochroa Lithochroa Hairstreak V
Candalides heathi heathi Rayed Blue R
Cyprotides cyprotus cyprotus Cyprotus Pencilled-blue R
Erina acasta Blotched Dusky-blue L
Erina hyacinthina form josephina Common Dusky-blue R
Erina hyacinthina form simplexa Western Dusky-blue L
Famegana alsulus alsulus Black-spot Grass-blue R
Lampides boeticus Long-tailed Pea-blue L(M)
Nacaduba biocellata biocellata Two-spotted Line-blue C
Neolucia agricola agricola Fringed Heath-blue L
Prosotas dubiosa dubiosa Small Purple Line-blue R
Theclinesthes albocincta Bitter-bush Blue C
Theclinesthes miskini miskini Wattle Blue L
Theclinesthes serpentata serpentata Salt-bush Blue C
Zizeeria karsandra Dark Grass-blue R
Zizina labradus labradus Common Grass-blue C(M)




E=Endangered, V=Vulnerable, R=Rare, L=Local (Uncommon), C=Common, (M)=Migrant, (Va)=Vagrant, (NVa)=Northern Vagrant, (I)=Introduced (* denotes an overseas source), (IN)=Possibly resident as Inland fauna.  Conservation Status refers to the species' status within South Australia.  Underlined status indicates the species has a threatened existence only within South Australia's political borders, and that it occurs elsewhere in Australia as non-threatened fauna.


The following two categories are mainly related to habitat degradation.  Species survival is dependant upon the presence of food host (ie. the plants or ants upon which the larvae feed), in a suitable environment.  These are often very specific.   Should the food host habitat be destroyed then the butterfly will also perish.   Loss of habitat is due to urbanisation and agricultural land use.

Presently within Australia, there is a Federal Endangered Species Protection Act (1992) which includes the criteria for a threatened species.

For the purposes of this Act, a species is ENDANGERED if :

(a) it is likely to become extinct unless the circumstances and factors threatening its abundance, survival or evolutionary development cease to operate; or

(b) its numbers have been reduced to such a critical level, or its habitats have been so drastically reduced, that it is in immediate danger of extinction; or

(c) it might already be extinct, but is not presumed extinct.

A species is VULNERABLE if : Within the next 25 years, the species is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances and factors threatening its abundance, survival or evolutionary development cease to operate.

At this point in time, none of the threatened butterfly species to be found in South Australia have been accepted by local government authorities for listing as protected fauna.   At a federal level, only one species of butterfly is presently listed (1998) as threatened for the purposes of the above act.


RARE: Species are not currently threatened but are localized or patchy in distribution.   They may be widespread in overall distribution, but are not always present near the food host, and usually occur in very few numbers.

LOCAL (UNCOMMON): Species are usually present wherever the food host occurs, but are rarely seen in high numbers.

COMMON: Species are usually present wherever the food host occurs, and are often seen in high numbers.

MIGRANT: These species either periodically or annually migrate in numbers within Australia, over short or long distances.  Usually common near the food host in their normal environment.

VAGRANT: These species either periodically or annually, randomly migrate singly within Australia, over short or long distances.  Many species have this tendency (especially the females), particularly during favourable seasons, it being used as a means of dispersal.

NORTHERN MIGRANT/VAGRANT: These species enter South Australia from the north or northeast, particularly during favourable monsoon seasons of combined wet, humid summers and autumns in inland areas.  Most of these species are biologically unsuited to the cooler southern areas of South Australian and do not establish even if the food host is present.

INLAND FAUNA: These species are established in the Alice Springs area (Northern Territory).  They have not as yet, been noted as being established in the adjacent northern areas of South Australia.

INTRODUCED: These species have been accidentally introduced to an area favourable to their continuing existence.  This may be by natural causes such as violent uplifting storms or by rafting, but is usually by transportation of early stages on foodplant hosts or by adults sealed in transportation vehicles.

Author: R. GRUND, copyright 1998, all rights reserved.  Last update 25 July 2009.