Dainty Sulphur

Nathalis iole

Nathalis iole photo © by Mike Plagens

Along Camp Creek north of Carefree, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 14 May 2017. It has a wingspan of roughly 28 mm.

Pieridae -- White & Sulphur Butterfly Family

These butterflies normally fly close to the ground changing flight directions frequently and perching on the soil. They occasionally take nectar at flowers, but more often participate in 'puddle parties' - gathering of butterflies at moist, saline soil. They are common after mid spring, and especially after the summer monsoon begins, and mostly in the upper elevations of the Sonoran Desert.

You might notice that this butterfly's visit to a flower was not without danger. Just to the right, partially concealed by a ray floret, is a Crab Spider, a sit and wait predator. Despite its small size it can grasp a potential prey with incredible force, while delivering a venomous bite.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 10 Nov. 2003,
Updated 28 Nov. 2019.