Butterflies of the Adirondack Mountains: Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior) in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (12 July 2013)

Butterflies of the Adirondack Mountains:
Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior)

Butterflies of the Adirondack Mountains: Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior) in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (6 July 2013) Butterflies of the Adirondacks: Pink-edged Sulphur in the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House (6 July 2013)

Identification: The Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior) is a medium-sized yellow butterfly that may be seen in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York in June and July. It is a member of the Pieridae family. [1] [2] The wings are rounded. [3] Both males and females have conspicuous pink wing edges. [4] [5] [6] The upper side is bright yellow with a black border. [7] [8] However, this butterfly normally rests with its wings closed, so the upper side is rarely seen. The underside of the hind wing is a clear yellow with a single silver cell spot circled in pink. [9] [10] It has no postmedian spots. [11] The wing span 1 1/2 to 2 5/8 inches.

The Pink-edged Sulphur is easily confused with the very similar Clouded Sulphur and the Orange Sulphur, both of which are also seen in our part of the Adirondacks.

Life History: Males patrol with a slow flight for females. [21] The female Pink-edged Sulphur lays her eggs in midsummer on blueberry leaves. [22] [23] The eggs are white, turning orange or greenish yellow soon after being laid. [24] [25] The larva is yellow-green with light stripes on the back and a white lateral stripe with a red link through it. [26] [27] The young caterpillars hibernate and overwinter. [28] [29] Most feeding occurs the following spring. [30] [31] Caterpillar hosts include various blueberry plants in the heath family. [32] [33] [34] The adults sip flower nectar and mud. [35] [36]

Butterflies of the Adirondack Mountains: Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior) in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (12 July 2013)Butterflies of the Adirondacks: Pink-edged Sulphur in the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House (12 July 2013)

Habitat and Range: Pink-edged Sulphurs make their homes in shrubby openings in woods, bogs, meadow edges, forest openings, or scrub areas where plants of the heath family grow. [37] [38] [39] This butterfly may often be found in recovering burns or logged sites. [40] The Pink-edged Sulphur is a boreal zone species which occurs in Canada and the northern parts of the US. [41] [42] The range of this butterfly is much more limited than that of the Clouded Sulphur. [43] It may be found from British Columbia and eastern Oregon east through the Great Lakes area to northern New England and the Adirondack Mountains. [44] [45] [46]

Flight: The flight period for Pink-fringed Sulphurs throughout its range is from late May into early September, [47] [48] peaking in early July to early August. [49] There is only one brood. [50] [51] [52] [53] This butterfly's flight period in the Adirondack Park has not been established. It is, however, a fairly frequent guest in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House. in 2012, The Pink-edged Sulphur was recorded as present from the day of the Butterfly House opening (9 June) to 25 July. [54] In 2013, Pink-edged Sulphurs were present in the Butterfly House during the month of July. [55]


References



Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

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The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.