Pelidne Sulphur - Colias pelidne
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 2.0-2.5 cm. Fringes pink. Uppersurface of males yellow, forewing with entire black border and small black cell spot, black dusting at wing bases, females with border jagged and indistinct, white females more common than yellow (yellow more common in south). Undersurface of hindwing with small hindwing cell spot heavily rimmed with dark pink and higher than wide, heavy black scaling towards wing bases.
One flight, July to early August in Newfoundland, mid-July to August in the Rocky Mountains (Scott 1986). July to August (Glassberg 2001). July and August in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), late June to early September in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002), late June to late August in Oregon (Warren 2005), June through July in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001).
Best determined by a combination of upersurface yellow to white with narrow but entire black border, small black cell spot, black dusting at wing bases, undersurface of hindwing with the cell spot small but heavily rimmed with pink, higher than wide, heavy black scaling towards wing bases.
Holarctic. In North America, disjointed populations occur in 1) the northern Rocky Mountains from British Columbia and west-central Alberta south through Idaho to northwestern Wyoming, 2)coastal areas around Hudson Bay east to Labrador and Newfoundland, 3) eastern Alaska and the Yukon Territory; isolated populations in eastern Oregon (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002; Warren 2005); to at least 2896 m elevation in Wyoming (Klots 1937; Nabokov 1953), 1676 m to at least 2743 m elevation in Oregon (Pyle 2002; Warren 2005), reported at 2438 m elevation in southeastern British Columbia (Threatful 1988). In Montana reported from at least 21 counties in the western 1/2 of the state, east to Carbon County (Kohler 1980; Standford and Opler 1993; FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database), to at least 3042 m elevation. Rare to uncommon (Glassberg 2001).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Subalpine and subarctic forest openings, above and beyond treeline in alpine and arctic tundra, roadsides, power line cuts, heath, moist montane meadows (Klots 1937; Nabokov 1953; Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002). Habitat in Montana not specifically described but likely similar. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem reported from tundra, fellfield, subalpine meadows and forest clearings (Debinski and Pritchard 2002), also moist meadows dominated by willows (Debinski et al. 2013).
Limited information. Larval food plants include Gaultheria and Vaccinium (multiple species) (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986, 1992; Guppy and Shepard 2001; James and Nunnallee 2011). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Cirsium, Helianthus, Polygonum, Senecio, Symphyotrichum, Taraxacum) and mud (Klots 1937; James and Nunnallee 2011; Scott 2014).
Limited information. Females lay eggs singly on host plant, usually on the leaves (Scott 1992; James and Nunnallee 2011). May lay about 40 eggs over 4 days, eggs hatch in abut 6 days (depending on temperature), develop to L2 instar in about 5 days, overwinter as L2 or L3 instar (possibly L1 instar?), develop to L3 or L4 instar in about 6-11 days after leaving diapause and feeding, may enter diapause again as mature L5 instar. Larvae feed on host plant leaves, rest on upper leaf midribs when not feeding, seek refugia in curled leaves for overwintering (Guppy and Shepard 2001; James and Nunnallee 2011). Males patrol low to the ground throughout the day near host plants and shrubby willows(Scott 1982, 1986; James and Nunnallee 2011).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Debinski, D.M. and J.A. Pritchard. 2002. A field guide to the butterflies of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Lanham, MD: Roberts Rinehart Publishers. 107 p.
- Debinski, D.M., J.C. Caruthers, D. Cook, J. Crowley, and H. Wickham. 2013. Gradient-based habitat affinities predict species vulnerability to drought. Ecology 94(5): 1036-1045.
- 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.
- James, D.G. and D. Nunnallee. 2011. Life histories of Cascadia butterflies. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press. 447 p.
- Klots, A.B. 1937. Some notes on Colias and Brenthis (Lepidoptera, Pieridae and Nymphalidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 45(3/4): 311-333.
- Kohler, S. 1980. Checklist of Montana Butterflies (Rhopalocera). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 1-19.
- Nabokov, V. 1953. Butterfly collecting in Wyoming, 1952. The Lepidopterists' News 7(2): 49-52.
- 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. 1982. Mate-locating behavior of western North American butterflies. II. New observations and morphological adaptations. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 21(3): 177-187.
- Scott, J.A. 1986. The butterflies of North America: a natural history and field guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
- Scott, J.A. 1992. Hostplant records for butterflies and skippers (mostly from Colorado) 1959-1992, with new life histories and notes on oviposition, immatures, and ecology. Papilio new series #6. 185 p.
- Scott, J.A. 2014. Lepidoptera of North America 13. Flower visitation by Colorado butterflies (40,615 records) with a review of the literature on pollination of Colorado plants and butterfly attraction (Lepidoptera: Hersperioidea and Papilionoidea). Contributions of the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthopod Diversity. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 190 p.
- 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.
- Warren, A.D. 2005. Lepidoptera of North America 6: Butterflies of Oregon, their taxonomy, distribution, and biology. Contributions of the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Colorado State University. Fort Collins, Colorado. 406 pp.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
Do you know of a citation we're missing?
- 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.
- Caruthers, J.C., and D. Debinski. 2006. Montane meadow butterfly species distributions in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center Annual Report, 2006. Vol. 30, Art. 14. 85-96.
- Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. LaFontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press. 280 pp. + color plates.
- Additional Sources of Information Related to "Insects"