Sierra Sulphur (Colias behrii W. H. Edwards)
Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 5/8 inches (3.5 - 4.2 cm).
Identification: Upper surface of male dull green with dark border; pale hindwing cell spot. Female greenish-yellow with dark diffuse border. Underside of both sexes green.
Life history: Males patrol low to the ground for females.
Flight: One flight from July-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Low blueberries (Vaccinium species) in the heath family (Ericaceae) and gentian (Gentiana newberryi).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Subalpine and alpine meadows, usually above 9000 feet.
Range: Isolated range in California's Sierra Nevada from Tuolumne County south to Tulare County.
Conservation: Prevent damage to meadow habitats by trampling or grazing.
Management needs: Restrict access to major colonies in Tuolumne and Tioga meadows, Yosemite National Park.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif. Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from Entomological Reprint Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.] Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California. Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif. Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida. Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26. Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies. California Natural History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35. Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo. Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State University, Masters Thesis. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.