Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole)

The Dainty Sulphur is a tiny butterfly, this individual's estimated wingspan is only about 20 mm. It was encountered east of Tweed, near the intersection of Alexander Street and the trans-Canada Trail.

The upper surfaces of the wings wings had a yellow aspect when the insect was in flight. These aren't the world's greatest photos, but despite its size this butterfly was a strong flier and I pursued it for over half a kilometer (and it was flying upwind, at that!) just to get these two images ...

If this is a Dainty Sulphur it's a long way from its usual range. Let's see what the experts at BugGuide.Net have to say.

September 20th, 2013 – in the opinion of a couple of entomologists I contacted by email, and BugGuide.Net, yes, this is a Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole). Although its normal range is much farther south of here, this butterfly has wandering tendencies and strays north now and again into Ontario. There are a few records for 2012 from the south of the province – Ontario Butterfly Atlas Online.