Currently viewing the category: "Whites and Sulfurs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yellow butterfly
Location: Ontario
November 26, 2016 9:16 am
Hi,
We found both of these (same butterfly) in the house, it’s white yellow with a few spots. Can you tell me what it is?
Thanks
Signature: Marie-Eve

Cabbage Whites

Cabbage Whites

Dear Marie-Eve,
These pretty little butterflies are Cabbage Whites, a European species thought to have been introduced into North America in the 19th Century.  According to BugGuide:  “Introduced accidentally near Montreal in the 1860s, this species has become an important pest. Bacterial and viral diseases now provide some biological control.”  Caterpillars feed on cabbage and many other plants in the same family.

Cabbage Whites

Cabbage White

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Another Sulphur Butterfly 🙂
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 10, 2016 8:32 pm
Another morning of gardening, another beautiful yellow butterfly visiting the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii). I wish I could capture how beautiful these butterflies are! It’s tough for me to get the yellows and whites to show as more than bright blurs in the sunshine.
I think this is another Sulphur, but can’t tell which species.
Such gorgeous weather, 70’s to 80’s, no rain this week.
Thank you for all of your help throughout the months, seasons and years!
Signature: Ellen

Male Cloudless Sulphur

Male Cloudless Sulphur

Dear Ellen,
This individual is a male Cloudless Sulphur,
Phoebis sennae, which you can verify by comparing to this BugGuide image.  Interestingly, it appears to be nectaring from the same type of sage plant.  According to BugGuide:  “upperside of male wings lemon yellow or pale greenish-yellow with no markings; female forewing with small dark spot, usually a narrow blackish outer margin, and a few vague dark dots near tip. Underside of hindwing with two silver black-rimmed spots in both sexes.”  Your one image nicely illustrates the “male wings lemon yellow or pale greenish-yellow with no markings.”  We suspect the appearance of this male Cloudless Sulphur is a good indication that the image you submitted last week is a female Cloudless Sulphur.  Butterflies in motion can be difficult to capture in images, but we think you are doing a marvelous job and your images are a good indication of the patience you have with your uncooperative subjects.  

Male Cloudless Sulphur

Male Cloudless Sulphur

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yellow Butterfly
Location: West Los Angeles
October 9, 2016 4:11 pm
These have been around the backyard for years but they don’t usually sit still long enough to grab the camera to take a picture. This picture was taken 10-9-16 in in West Los Angeles area. The flower is a Cape Marigold and this particular butterfly seems attracted to only the yellow flowers of that plant.
Signature: Phil Hackett

Cloudless Sulphur

Cloudless Sulphur

Hi Phil,
This is one of the Sulphur butterflies in the genus
Phoebis, and we are pretty certain it is the Cloudless Sulphur, Phoebis sennae.  This is a very fast flying species, and it is our experience that they are difficult to approach, so your images are a marvelous addition to our site.  According to BugGuide:  “upperside of male wings lemon yellow or pale greenish-yellow with no markings; female forewing with small dark spot, usually a narrow blackish outer margin, and a few vague dark dots near tip. Underside of hindwing with two silver black-rimmed spots in both sexes.”

Cloudless Sulphur

Cloudless Sulphur

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yellow Butterfly, a Cloudless Sulphur, perhaps?
Location: Coryell County
October 8, 2016 7:04 pm
Hello again!
Many butterflies today. I think this may be a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae), but I’m not sure. Thes are quite large, and only visit the salvia greggi (Autumn sage), ignoring the other flowers in the garden. I believe you identified a similar butterfly for me several years ago, thank you!
Best wishes for a great autumn!
Signature: ellen

Sulphur, but which species?

Probably Female Cloudless Sulphur

Dear Ellen,
You are correct that this is a Sulphur in the genus
Pheobis, but we cannot say for certain which species.  Your individual does resemble the Cloudless Sulphur in this BugGuide image, but it also resembles this Orange Barred Sulphur, also pictured on BugGuide.  Unfortunately, the open-winged image you provided is lacking in critical detail.

Update
Subject: Sulphur: Cloudless or Orange-Barred? Part II
Location: Coryell County, TX
October 10, 2016 9:17 pm
Hello again! Thank you for your quick response. I saw the entry of the Cloudless Sulphur from Los Angeles, so beautiful.
I found this article on Orange-Barred Sulphurs (found now in California) and thought it was so interesting: http://www.monarchprogram.org/new-butterfly-species-in-the-southwest-the-orange-barred-sulfur-phoebis-philea/
I looked back at my photos and realized that, although too blurry, these show the sunlit color of the butterfly in question. It was lemon yellow, no orange that I ever spotted; I don’t know if that makes a difference or not. Gorgeous butterfly on the wing. Will keep trying to get clearer photos of the insects in our gardens.
Love your site! Thank you so much for all of the information.
Signature: Ellen

Cloudless Sulphur

Cloudless Sulphur

Hi again Ellen,
Thanks for the update.  We believe based on the images you just submitted of a male Cloudless Sulphur, that this is a female of the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: butterfly
Location: Maryland
August 17, 2015 4:19 am
Saw this butterfly on our farm on the Eastern shore of Maryland on the Maryland Delaware line towards Dover Delaware. I didn’t get a good look at the top side of the wings but think they were mostly yellow. I have a good shot of the underside but I seem to be finding site using different names for what this appears to be. Would love to have your take on it.
Signature: Patti Cooper

Female Alfalfa Butterfly

Female Alfalfa Butterfly

Dear Patti,
Your digital file was named “Southern Dogface” and we disagree with that identification, though the family is correct.  Though you don’t have a dorsal view, it is possible to make out the markings through the wings, and we can see a row of lighter spots in the black border of the upper wing.  It also appears that the coloration is slightly orange, indicating this is a female Alfalfa Butterfly or Orange Sulphur,
Colias eurytheme.  You can compare your image to this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination