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Insect Gallery

Whites and Sulphurs Butterflies

order Lepidoptera - family Pieridae

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Female (more gray on wing edge) sipping Indian Blanket



Male sipping Heath Aster


Whites - subfamily Pierinae

Checkered White Pontia protodice

Female photo taken in Taylor County, May 2005

Male photos taken in Taylor County, November 2006

(Taylor, Nolan, Fisher, Jones, Shackelford, Callahan, Eastland, Coke, Runnels, Coleman, Brown)

Butterfly: 1 1/2"-2 1/2" wide.  Eat nectar.  Likes weedy areas.

Caterpillar: Likes to eat buds, flowers, and fruits of mustard and caper plants.

Pupa: Chrysalid over winter.


Similar White Species

Whites - subfamily Pierinae


Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)

2 1/2 - 3 3/8 inches.  Upper surface of male forewing white with black zigzag pattern on outer margin. Dry season female form resembles male with heavier black zigzag pattern and a small black spot in the wing cell. Wet-season female is darkened with black scales above and below.



Falcate Orangetip (Anthocharis midea)

1 3/8 - 1 3/4 inches.  Upperside of male forewing with orange, hooked tip; females hooked, but lack orange; both have round black spot in cell. Underside of hindwing has finely-patterned green marbling.





Eating Narrow-leaf Gayfeather


Sulphurs - subfamily Coliadinae

Orange Sulfer Colias eurythems

Photo taken in Taylor County, October 2005

(Taylor, Nolan, Fisher, Jones, Shackelford, Eastland, Coke, Runnels, Coleman, Brown)

Butterfly: 1 3/8"-2 3/4" wide.  Very common in USA.

Caterpillar: eats plants in the Fabaceae order.  Called the Alfalfa Caterpillar.

Pupa: Chrysalid over winter.




Sipping Heath Aster



1) laying eggs on grass     2) very cold with very bold wing edge spots


Sulphurs - subfamily Coliadinae

Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole)

(Taylor, Nolan, Fisher, Jones, Shackelford, Callahan, Eastland, Coke, Runnels, Coleman, Brown)

Butterfly: 3/4" - 1 1/4" wide.  Very common in southwest USA.  This is our smallest sulfur butterfly.  Female top of wing has more black than male.  There is a white variation.  Hind wing is pale in summer and darker in winter.

Caterpillar: eats asters.





Male  sipping Heath Aster


Sulphurs - subfamily Coliadinae

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

inches.  Upper surface of male is lemon yellow with no markings. Female is yellow or white; outer edges of both wings with irregular black borders; upper forewing with dark spot in cell. Lower surface of hindwing of both sexes with 2 pink-edged silver spots.

(Nolan, Coke, Runnels)

Butterfly: 2 1/4" - 3 1/8" wide.  Very common in southern USA.  Male is very yellow.  Female is lighter, whiteish, greenish, or pinkish.  These butterflies migrate.

Caterpillar: eats senna plants.



Other Sulfur Species in My Area

Sulphurs - subfamily Coliadinae


Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)

1 1/2 - 2 3/4 inches.  Upper surface of male wings bright, clear yellow with solid black edging; lower side of forewing with some dark submarginal spots; hindwing with silver cell spot rimmed with orange-pink, usually doubled. Female has 2 forms: yellow form with uneven black edging enclosing yellow spots, and a white form which is greenish-white rather than yellow. Spring and fall forms are smaller and less conspicuously marked.



Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia)

2 1/8 - 3 inches.  Upperside forewings of both sexes have yellow "dog's head" surrounded by black. "Eye" does not touch black border. Female similar, with duller, more diffuse black areas and 2 seasonal forms: underside hindwing of wet season "summer" form is yellow; that of dry season "winter" form is mottled with black and pink.

(Nolan, Eastland, Runnels, Coleman)


Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe)

2 1/4 - 3 3/8 inches.  Upper surface of male bright orange with no markings. Two female forms, pink-white or yellow-orange. Underside forewing of both sexes with straight submarginal line. Two seasonal forms; winter form has heavier underside markings.

(Nolan, Callahan, Coleman)


Mexican Yellow (Eurema mexicana)

1 3/4 - 2 1/2 inches.  Upper surface is creamy white with indented black borders which outline a "dog's head" on forewings; more pronounced in male. Hindwing with projecting tail-like points.

(Jones, Coleman)


Little Yellow (Eurema lisa)

1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches.  Upperside of male forewing yellow with wide black apex. Hindwing with black border. Female yellow or white (rare) with black borders. Both sexes with small black spot in forewing cell.

(Nolan, Coleman, Brown)


Sleepy Orange (Eurema nicippe)

1 3/8 - 2 1/4 inches.  Upperside of wings orange in both sexes; orange-yellow form rare. Forewing with small black cell spot. Male with sharply defined black borders on outer and costal margins; female borders not so well-defined. In winter form, underside of hindwing is brick red, brown, or tan; in summer form it is orange-yellow.

(Taylor, Nolan, Fisher, Jones, Shackelford, Callahan, Eastland, Coke, Runnels, Coleman)


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