Several species lists for the butterflies of British Columbia have been developed in recent years. Unlike species groups such as birds and mammals, the classification and names of butterfly species (called taxonomy) is still changing as our knowledge of species relationships improves. As well, there are varying opinions among experts about whether some closely-related butterfly populations should be grouped together into a single species or separated into two or more species. As a result, several lists exist that are not necessarily in agreement.
eButterfly, one of our Atlas partners, has worked with several Canadian experts in butterfly taxonomy to produce a new national checklist for the butterflies of Canada. This list reflects some of the more recent taxonomic and name changes and the consensus reached by this committee. To be consistent with other Atlas projects across Canada, this is the list that will be used for the BC Butterfly Atlas:
- Click here to view the new BC species checklist developed by eButterfly (2012).
Several other species lists are also available that reflect the knowledge of species at that time or the opinions of other experts:
- Click here for a list of the Lepidoptera of BC (including butterflies and moths) by Cannings and Scudder (2008).
- Click here to view the list of the Butterflies of BC according to Guppy and Shepard (2001).
- Click here to view the list of butterfly species (including thumbnail photos) on E-Fauna BC.
Butterfly species lists for BC are likely to continue to change as our knowledge about species relationships improves through research such as genetic analyses. New species may also be added if new species are found to be occur in the province. This is to be expected in BC as many of the northern areas of the province have yet to be properly inventoried. It is our hope that the BC Butterfly Atlas may be able to accomplish some of this inventory work.