Labrador Sulphur - Colias nastes
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 2.0-2.4 cm. Small for a sulphur. Wing fringes tinged with pink. Uppersurface dingy white to dirty greenish-yellow, black borders of both sexes enclose greenish-yellow submarginal spots; undersurface of forewing greenish with few submarginal black spots, hindwing greenish, the discal cell spot edged in pink and often smeared or strongly pointed outwardly.
One flight; late June to early August northward, mid-July to mid-August in Labrador, July and August in Alberta (Scott 1986). Mainly mid-July to early August (Glassberg 2001). July and August in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), early July to early September in Washington (Pyle 2002), probably mid-July to mid-August in British Columbia (Threatful 1988; Guppy and Shepard 2001).
Probably best determined by a combination of habitat, small size for sulphur, pale pinkish fringes, uppersurface dingy white to dirty greenish-yellow with black borders of both sexes enclosing greenish-yellow submarginal spots; undersurface greenish, hindwing with discal cell spot edged in pink and often smeared or strongly pointed outwardly.
Holarctic. In North America, northern Alaska east across arctic Canada including the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to Ellesmere Island, south in the interior mountains of British Columbia and Rocky Mountains to north-central Washington and northwestern Montana (Ferris and Brown 1981; Ferris 1985; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Guppy and Shepard 2001); 1829 m to 2530 m elevation in Washington (Pyle 2002), 2194 m to at least 2499 m elevation in southeastern British Columbia (Threatful 1988). In Montana, reported from Flathead and Glacier counties (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993), especially Glacier National Park (Ferris 1985; Debinski 1993), and Teton County in 2005 at about 2560 m elevation (FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database). Rare to uncommon (Glassberg 2001).
Above treeline on wind-swept tundra ridges, scree, fellfield, dry alpine slopes, tree-line meadows; at high latitude in arctic willow communities, tundra grassland, sedge and cottongrass, well-drained ridge tops, open spruce-tamarack woodland (Oosting and Parshall 1978; Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Threatful 1988; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002; Ezzeddine and Matter 2008; Leung and Reid 2013). In Glacier National Park, Montana reported above treeline in alpine terrain (Debinski 1993).
Larval food plants include Astragalus, Hedysarum, Oxytropis (multiple species), and Lupinus (Oosting and Parshall 1978; Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Guppy and Shepard 2001). Adults feed on flower nectar, including Achillea, Agoseris, Arnica, Astragalus, Campanula, Epilobium, Erigeron, Haplopappus, Hedysarum, Oxytropis, Potentilla, Saxifraga, Sedum, and Solidago (Oosting and Parshall 1978; Ezzeddine and Matter 2008).
Limited information. Females probably deposit eggs singly on host plants. No information on developmental rates of larval instars, L3 instars hibernate (diapause) and possibly as older instars (may be biennial, spending two winters as larvae), no information on pupation location and pupal duration (Scott 1979, 1986; Pyle 2002). Males patrol throughout the day over a broad area in search of females (Oosting and Parshall 1978).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Debinski, D. 1993. Butterflies of Glacier National Park, Montana. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. No. 159: 1-13.
- Ezzeddine, M. and S.F. Matter. 2008. Nectar flower use and electivity by butterflies in sub-alpine meadows. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 62(3): 138-142.
- Ferris, C.D. 1985. Revision of Colias boothii Curtis, Colias thula Hovanitz, and Colias nastes Boisduval in North America (Pieridae: Coliadinae). Bulletin of the Allyn Museum 96:1-51.
- Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown (eds). 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountains. Univ. of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 442 pp.
- Glassberg, J. 2001. Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America. Oxford University Press.
- Guppy, C.S. and J.H. Shepard. 2001. Butterflies of British Columbia: including western Alberta, southern Yukon, the Alaska Panhandle, Washington, northern Oregon, northern Idaho, northwestern Montana. UBC Press (Vancouver, BC) and Royal British Columbia Museum (Victoria, BC). 414 pp.
- Kohler, S. 1980. Checklist of Montana Butterflies (Rhopalocera). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 1-19.
- Leung, M.C. and D.G. Reid. 2013. New species records for butterflies (Lepidoptera) on Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada, with notes on natural history. Canadian Entomologist 145:227-234.
- Oosting, D.P. and D.K. Parshall. 1978. Ecological notes on the butterflies of the Churchill region of northern Manitoba. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 17(3): 188-203.
- Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Second edition. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 540 pp.
- Pyle, R.M. 2002. The butterflies of Cascadia: a field guide to all the species of Washington, Oregon, and surrounding territories. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington. 420 pp.
- Scott, J.A. 1979. Hibernal diapause of North American Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18(3): 171-200.
- Scott, J.A. 1986. The butterflies of North America: a natural history and field guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
- Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies: including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Unpubl. Report. Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado 275 pp.
- Threatful, D.L. 1988. A list of the butterflies and skippers of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, British Columbia, Canada (Lepidoptera). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 27(3-4): 213-221.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Allen, T.J., J.P. Brock, and J. Glassberg. 2005. Caterpillars in the field and garden: a field guide to the butterfly caterpillars of North America. Oxford University Press.
- Brock, J.P. and K. Kaufman. 2003. Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY 284 pp.
- Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. LaFontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press. 280 pp. + color plates.
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