NDSU image


North Dakota State University

NDSU button
NDSU Search button
NDSU Phonebook button


A Key to the superfamilies of the Lepidoptera
with special reference to North and South Dakota


(1).  Antennal club elongate with a narrowed terminal portion (apiculus) which is often recurved. Forewing with all veins arising from the discal cell or the wing base.  Superfamily Hesperioidea



Antennae: Epargyreus clarus (top),
Polites mystic (bottom)

Forewing of Polites mystic with veins highlighted.









Epargyreus clarus (left),
Polites mystic (right)

The single included family is the Hesperiidae, Skippers. 3,050 species worldwide, 264 species in North America and 42 in North Dakota. There are six subfamilies, those not occurring in ND are indicated by an asterisk (*): Coeliadinae*, Pyrrhopyginae*, Pyrginae, Heteropterinae, Trapezitinae*, and Hesperiinae.   

2. Antennal club not as above. Fw with at least one branched vein beyond the discal cell.  Superfamily Papilionoidea



Antennae of Speyeria cybele (top) and Polygonia comma (bottom).

Forewing of Papilio canadensis with veins highlighted.

World wide there are approximately 14,500 species of Papilionoidea (True butterflies)
In North America there are 483 species, while 104 occur in North Dakota.  This super-
family is usually divided into four families as follows:  

Note, a complete guide to North Dakota butterflies  (Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea) is: 
Royer, R. A.  2003.  Butterflies of North Dakota, an atlas and guide, 2nd edition. 
Minot State University, Science Monograph #2.  ISBN 0-9619635-1-4. 



Return to previous page.

Return to Key introduction.



Last updated: 08/23/07

Dr. Gerald M. Fauske
collection manager, NDSIRC
research specialist, NDSU
216 Hultz Hall
Fargo, ND 58105
E-Mail: Gerald.Fauske@ndsu.nodak.edu

Published by the Department of Entomology 

Prospective students may schedule a visit by calling 1-800-488-NDSU.