Wisconsin Butterflies in General

There are 155 specie of Butterfly recorded in Wisconsin with 118 of these considered breeding populations. 22 of these are considered strays being found occasionally and are included on the list if verified once. 15 species are considered migrants, such as the Monarch butterfly, known for its yearly migration south in the fall, then back northwards in the spring. The other migrants found on Wisconsin butterfly lists may be absent for several years before climate conditions allow them to return to Wisconsin habitats.

The best and most comprehensive Wisconsin Butterfly site is Wisconsin Butterflies
Wisconsin Butterflies documents all species of butterflies, their sighting dates and includes helpful identification tips. It allows users to report their sightings to increase the county by county data on where butterflies are in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin moth population is not well established at this point. Current estimates indicate their numbers may exceed 2400 species. Moth families under the macrolepidoptera have 1224 species documented in Wisconsin. The poorly known microlepidoptera family likely has more than 1200 species within Wisconsin however, no comprehensive state checklist exists. Further information on Wisconsin Moths can be found at Butterflies and Moths.org (link in sidebar).

Wisconsin Threatened and Endangered Butterflies and Moths: Here

Crex Meadows (and surrounding areas)

For Crex Meadows, I began to document the butterflies slowly in the summer of 2007. By 2009, I set a goal of visiting Crex Meadows once a week with the intent to photograph as many of the individual species as possible. As of October 2012, I have documented 90 species of butterfly with clear photographs. There are 3 additional species that are controversial in Burnett county including Spring Azure, Pearl Crescent and Atlantis Fritillary. There are also a few species, including the Hackberry emporer and Pepper and Salt Skipper, which I have seen but not been able to photograph at this time.

There are also a number of moths which have been documented, including all three Clearwings found in wisconsin, a buckmoth that may be the new specie, Midwestern Fen Buckmoth and several tiger, and silk moths.

Crex Meadows Butterfly Sighting Averages

The above chart represents species seen over the 8 years between 2009 and 2016. Maximum, Averged, and Minimum is represented. Visits number represents how many times I have documented butterflies on that date spread. For example, the week of Aug 6 - 10, I visited Crex Meadows in 2014, 2015, and 2016 giving me 3 total visits during that date spread. Aug 16 - 20 remains at 1 visit over the past 8 years.

Brushfooted Butterflies

The Brushfooted Butterflies Family includes many subfamilies of the butterflies found in Crex Meadows. The subfamilies listed under this include the Admirals and their relatives, the Emperors, the Fritillary and Helicon, the Leafwing (not found in Burnett county), the Monarch, the Satyr, the Snout (one type), and the True Brushfoot (largest subfamily).

More on the Brushfooted Butterfly Subfamilies Here

Gossamer-wing Butterflies

This includes the subfamilies of Blues, Coppers, Harvester, and Hairstreak. There are no Harvester butterflies reported in Burnett county, but have been reported in counties north of Crex Meadows.

UPDATE: In May 2009 I photographed a Harvester Butterfly on Crex Meadows. It has been recorded at Wisconsin Butterflies.org.

Of the Blues living in wisconsin, 9 have been reported since 2000 in Burnett county. The Greenish Blue has a historic record in Burnett County and has been reported in counties north of Crex Meadows. There is much debate surrounding the Spring azure

UPDATE! The Summer Spring Azure has been documented in Burnett County, Crex Meadows Wildlife area in both 2010 and 2011.

For the Copper butterflies, 3 have been reported since 2000 in Burnett county. The Dorcas Copper has been reported in counties north of Crex Meadows. The Bog Copper has a historic record in Burnett county and has been reported in counties South of Crex Meadows. The Gray Copper has a historic record in Burnett county with historic records in counties south of Crex Meadows.

There are 17 Hairstreaks and Elfins reported in Wisconsin with 10 of these sighted in Burnett county since 2000. The Brown Elfin has a historic record in Burnett county with a sighting east of Crex Meadows. There are also historic reports in counties north of Crex Meadows. The Western Pine Elfin has been found in counties north of Crex Meadows. The Hickory Hairstreak has a historic record north of Burnett county.

Update! Brown Elfin has been documented via photograph in Burnett County, Crex Meadows in 2011.

Update! Hickory Hairstreak has been documented via photograph in Burnett County, Crex Meadows in 2010.


Of the one Metalmark butterfly reported in Wisconsin, it has not been reported near Burnett county.

Skipper Butterflies

The Skipper Butterfly is the largest family of butterflies found in Wisconsin and in Burnett County. There are 3 subfamilies under the Skipper.

More on the Skipper Butterfly Subfamilies Here

Swallowtail Butterflies

According to the website, Wisconsin Butterflies.org, three species of Swallowtails are found in Burnett county where Crex Meadows is located. The Black Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail. In cross referencing sources, the website Butterflies and Moths of North America.org does not list the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail in Burnett county, or in neighboring counties, but does list them for counties in Wisconsin near the border for the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. There are possiblities that more species inhabit the area but have not been documented yet.

Update! Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was documented via photograph in Burnett county (female dark form) in 2010. Further photographs have confirmed its presence on Crex Meadows in 2011.

The Giant Swallowtail was seen on two occasions in and around Fish Lake Wildlife Area in 2011.

Sulphurs and Whites

Of the 11 sulphurs reported in Wisconsin, 4 four are listed after 2000 in Burnett county. There is a historic record of the Southern Dogface as a migrant and a historic record of the Mexican Yellow, which is considered a rare stray in Wisconsin.

Of the 7 whites reported in wisconsin, 4 have been sighted in Burnett county since 2000. For the remaining 3 species, none of these hold a historic record in Burnett or in the surrounding counties.

The Mustard White was documented in 2012 in Burnett county near Fish Lake Wildlife Area

Weekly Butterfly Sightings

The number of species documented each week during the past 8 years. The line chart shows breaks in coverage cleaner than the previous bar charts used. Click HERE for larger view. 2010 - 2011 help of a Friends of Crex Meadows volunteer who joined me most of these weeks , increasing the area we were able to survey.