Central American Butterflies



Below the Texas border the butterfly numbers boom and as you move further south through Central America into the boundaries of South America you pass through true butterfly nirvana.

I have linked subpages for the major families and subfamilies at the links below. These are now complete and are fairly accurate for the section of the world between Belize and Costa Rica on the Caribbean side of things. All of the butterflies which are known to occur in the lowland Caribbean areas such as in La Selva, Costa Rica should be present here now. Though things are still being sorted out in the rainforests. Many of the highland species and species that occur only above 300 meters in Costa Rica are not listed, though some were added where widespread otherwise in Central America and in Belize. Belize (BZ) butterflies are marked as shown. Some are known from extreme SE Mexico in Glassberg's new book, A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of Mexico and Central America but may not have been proven for nearby Belize as of yet. Glassberg seems to be at least partly responsible for the common names which are bracketed after species where known. I doubt these are etched in stone as of yet, though common names do seem to stir up public interest in insect groups. Not all of Glassberg's scientific names correspond to the world listing on the web.

See link here.

However that website is very useful for many of the genera and has numerous literature links at species level. I congratulate whoever is behind that site. In most cases I chose the web scientific name over Glassberg's choice for now. Often I make a comment on this in the list below.

This list becomes less inclusive as you move into central Mexico or south into Panama and below. See the separate info for the other butterfly families below.


Butterflies data base of photos for Guanacaste area of NW Costa Rica:


Butterflies known to occur in Belize are marked with BZ. For quite a few specimen photos of Belizean butterflies see these links from Dr. Shuey.







And the main Neotropical butterfly photo collection is here.


Page on Belize Diversity with Checklists


Papilionidae Latreille, 1809

Pieridae Duponchel, 1832

Nymphalidae Swainson, 1827

Lycaenidae Leach, 1815

Riodinidae Grote, 1895

Hesperiidae Latreille, 1809