Identification Sheets

Scientists organise butterflies and other animals into family groups according to their relationship between each other and their morphological similarities. For instance all of the skipper butterflies have ‘hooked’ antennae.

This series of butterfly identification sheets seeks to simplify identification of South Australian butterflies by using just colour and size.  There are two views of each butterfly, the upper side and the under side. When butterflies are at rest you usually only see the underside and this is especially so for the blue butterflies some of which never open their wings when at rest.

For further information about a particular butterfly or butterfly family visit this site which was originally created by Roger Grund and now maintained by the BCSA.  It provides downloads for individual butterflies.

What colour is your butterfly?

We have chosen four colour groups based on the upper side wing colours – mostly yellow or white, mostly orange or brown, mostly white or cream with black or brown and mostly blue.

We have also chosen three sizes based on open wing expanse:
Small, below 2.5cm
Medium, 2.5cm – 6cm
Large, more then 6cm


Mostly blue, small size

Mostly blue, medium size


Mostly brown or orange, small size

Mostly brown or orange, medium size

Mostly brown or orange, large size


Mostly yellow and white, medium size

White, cream or yellow with black or brown, medium size

White, cream or yellow with black or brown, large size

Thanks go the following people who have assisted with the preparation of these sheets: Roger Grund, Trevor Rowe, Lindsay Hunt, Leslie Richmond, Carolyn Prime, Rowan Moore, Andy Young and Jan Forrest