Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Orange Sulfurs (Colias eurytheme)

Orange Sulfurs (Colias eurytheme)We like to think that we are encouraging butterflies by our use of selected native and non-native plants, both around the house as well as in the meadow and prairie. But, as usual, this morning there were easily 60-80 of these Orange Sulfur butterflies concentrated around three spots in the gravel driveway. These butterflies appreciate clover and alfalfa (hence their other common name, alfalfa butterfly) but males are often found in large groups puddling or congregating around wet or even, as here, no longer damp spots on bare dirt or driveways. They are after minerals and salts, especially sodium which they pass to the females by way of their sperm package, increasing the viability of her eggs. These butterflies are multivoltine with many generations each year. Very common in Illinois, usually the most abundant by number at Habitat Home.

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoy your amazing pictures. I look forward to each new post.