In eButterfly, species are individual taxonomic units. In general, they are reproductively isolated from other butterflies, although not always. Our species are determined by experts in taxonomic research such as John Pelham (


An observation is a record of a species in space and time.  An example of a single observation would be when you record seeing 6 Painted Ladies at Frog Lake, Mokelumne Wilderness, California on July 7th, 2013 on a 1 km hike. If you also report seeing 1 Mourning Cloak, you would have two observations and so on.


A checklist represents the entire butterflying event including your location, a measure of the effort you expended,  the list of all species seen, and estimate counts of individuals for each species (e.g., 10 Cabbage Whites, 5 Monarchs, 1 Regal Fritillary). Each combination of species and count in a unique checklist is considered an observation.