What is this butterfly?
October 8, 2009
This butterfly has black edges and the rest is yellow other than one black spot on each upper wing and one yellow spot on each lower wing. I would really just like the scientific name.
Dear scientific name?
This is a Sulphur Butterfly in the genus Colias. We believe it is a female Clouded Sulphur, Colias philodice. It is the white form of the female, a common variation. Both the Clouded Sulphur and the Orange Sulphur, Colias eurytheme, have a white form female. According to BugGuide, the best way to distinguish the two from one another is: “The white form female philodice can often be separated from the white form female eurytheme by the HW outer margin. In philodice the HW outer margin will have a more narrow smoother solid black border, while eurytheme most often has an irregular and wider black border, many times with diffuse white markings within the black border.“ BugGuide also has photos that illustrate this difference. Actually, upon closer inspection, we believe this to be the typical yellow form of the female Clouded Sulphur. The female can be distinguished from the male in that the black borders on the wings of the female have spots, and the male has solid black borders.