Dainty Sulphur

Dainty sulphur butterflies have alluded my picture-taking attempts until this morning.

The small butterfly makes its way north through the growing season. I saw my first one in southern Illinois 2 weeks ago. They are NOT a cooperative subject. This one flitted from here to there, from one small yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta) to another.  By the time I would get close enough, it was off again.

It also stopped on a bare patch of dirt and turned sideways to the sun. It then leaned its body to maximize amount of sunlight it received. This is called lateral basking.

Dainty sulphurs (Nathalis iole) have a wingspan of 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch. They’re a southern species that makes their way north through the summer. Their numbers can vary greatly from year to year.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Therese on September 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Oh so sweet! Never knew about lateral basking.


  2. Nice find! Do they migrate south in the fall?


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