Currently viewing the category: "Whites and Sulfurs"
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Male Checkered White

Male Checkered White

Subject: A mystery white, and a checkerspot?
Location: Larimer county, CO, 8100′
October 10, 2014 8:46 am
A couple butterflies I hope you can help with. Both taken same location. Larimer county, Colorado foothills, 8100 feet elevation. October 8, 2014. Warm day, but well past 1st frost. The first is a white, of sorts. Markings don’t strike me as cabbage white, and doesn’t seem dark enough for pine white (especially underside). Whites (or white morph sulphurs) are troublesome for me. …
Signature: Matt in CO

Checkered White

Checkered White

Hi Matt,
We are going to split your request into two distinct postings as they need to be categorized into different butterfly families.  We believe the White is a male Checkered White,
Pontia protodice, and according to BugGuide:  “Sexually dimorphic. Males are nearly all white, with some dark spots and dashes on the dorsal side of FW. Females are have considerably more dark markings on the dorsal side of FW.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Rather irregular in distribution in eastern North America, not seen every year in many localities, such as Piedmont region of North Carolina.  Can be extremely abundant, sometimes in the Southwest and Great Plains with thousands of individuals swarming flowers and puddles, and even coming to lights at night.  Can seem to disappear for a year or three during extreme drought, only to explode in numbers when rains come.”  In Butterflies Through Binoculars The West, Jeffrey Glassberg writes:  “Most frequently encountered in the lowlands, but can be found on high peaks.”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly Survivors
Location: Coryell County, Texas
February 18, 2014 4:38 pm
I’m sending photos of what I think are a Variegated Fritillary and an Alfalfa Sulphur, each with damaged wings. I’m also sending a photo of The Usual Suspect.
Signature: Ellen

Sulphur with damaged wings

Sulphur with damaged wings

Hi Ellen,
Just last night we were reading the beginning of a small publication put out by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County called Butterfly Gardening in Southern California.  The first article is entitled Butterflies in Living Color and in it Brian V. Brown writes:  “The intricate patterns [of butterfly wings] have often evolved through their interactions with another group of animals with good color vision, the birds, which are the most relentless natural enemies of butterflies.”
  We also learned a new term.  Holometabola is a term used to classify insects with complete or four part metamorphosis with the stages being egg, larva, pupa and imago.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possible Orange Sulphur Butterfly
Location: Coryell County, Texas
February 17, 2014 10:00 pm
Hello, I hope you’re both well.
I think this is a Sulphur Butterfly, possibly an Orange Sulphur.
You kindly identified one for me last year; I’m noticing that the same butterfly species that visited a year ago have returned to the same patch of wildflowers this winter.
Many of the honeybees and butterflies seem to have very worn wings at this time. I’m guessing that this might be from the unusually cold, icy, and very windy weather that has occurred this winter. So glad for spring-like weather this week!
Signature: Ellen

Alfalfa Butterfly

Alfalfa Butterfly

Hi Ellen,
We agree that this is an Orange Sulphur,
Colias eurytheme, and we grew up calling it an Alfalfa Butterfly.  BugGuide also indicates the common name Alfalfa Sulphur.  The spotted border of the upper wings indicates that this is a female.  The male has a solid black border.

Alfalfa Butterfly

Alfalfa Butterfly

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
November 21, 2013 11:42 am
Is this a female Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly?
Bug Guide reference: http://www.dallasbutterflies.com/Butterflies/html/sennae.html
I don’t understand the clouded/cloudless designation differences.
I planted more of the Autumn Sage this fall; it’s a butterfly magnet, and a drought-resistant native plant.
Signature: Ellen

Senna Sulphur

Senna Sulphur

Hi again Ellen,
BugGuide sometimes explains the meaning of the name, but in the case of the Cloudless Sulphur, they do not.  Charles Hogue, in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, referred to this species,
Phoebis sennae, as the Senna Sulphur, which is a reference to the food plant of the caterpillar.  We always thought that “cloudless” referred to the male of the species having no markings. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Open-wing Sleepy Orange Butterfly
Location: Coryell County, Texas
November 21, 2013 11:24 am
Success! I only had to take ten extra photos this time before getting an open-winged shot of this Sleepy Orange. They love the Autumn Sage, a drought-resistant native plant. Female, according to the example you provided, thank you:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/250057/bgimage
Signature: Ellen

Sleepy Orange

Sleepy Orange

Hi Ellen,
Thanks for your efforts to capture an image of the dorsal view of a living Sleepy Orange.

Sleepy Orange

Sleepy Orange

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Southern Dogface Butterfly?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
November 19, 2013 1:33 pm
Hello,
Here is a beautiful butterfly, and I think it might be a Southern Dogface Butterfly. You identified one for me last spring, thank you!
I took photo after photo, trying to get an open-winged shot. I can’t tell you how many photos I took of the brick wall, the house eaves, the fence, the mulch, the grass and the flowers (without capturing the elusive flying Dogface), when I finally got a decent shot. Hooray! It’s blurry but distinguishable.
This butterfly stayed near the garden for the half-hour I was there. After feeding, the clever creature rested on the crepe myrtle leaves, only resting on the yellow leaves, never the green leaves. Camouflage?
It fluttered around other yellow butterflies its size that visited the garden, but I don’t know if it was guarding or courting. Once, three butterflies were circling each other. The other two flew off after feeding briefly.
I have photos of one of the other butterflies if you are interested. It may be a female Southern Dogface, but I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure it’s a Sulphur in any case.
Thank you for all of your help!
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Southern Dogface

Southern Dogface

Hi Ellen,
We got a bit of a chuckle at your attempt to photograph this Southern Dogface Butterfly,
Zerene cesonia.  We went through a similar attempt to capture a good photograph of a Western Tiger Swallowtail in our our garden several years ago.  One of the beauties of digital photography over traditional analog photography is that it is much easier to keep shooting and shooting until you get a decent image.  As educators, we still believe that a firm foundation in analog photography makes better photographers despite the fact that they will not be working in analog professionally.  We are very pressed for time due to work obligations, and though you sent several submissions our way, we might not get them all posted this morning.

Southern Dogface

Southern Dogface

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination