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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Utah

Desert Marble (Euchloe lotta)
JPG -- species photo

Desert Marble (Euchloe lotta Beutenmueller)

Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3.2 - 4.5 cm).

Identification: Upperside of forewing with cell bar very close to edge of wing. Cell bar usually wide and devoid of white scales, but may be narrow in some populations. Underside pearly white; hindwing with dark green marbling.

Life history: Males patrol on hilltops or ridges for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on host plant leaves, flowers, or fruits. Flowers and fruits are the preferred food of the caterpillars. Chrysalids hibernate.

Flight: One flight from March-June.

Caterpillar hosts: Plants in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family including rock cress (Arabis), peppergrass (Lepidium), and tansy-mustard (Descurainia).

Adult food: Flower nectar including that of hosts and others such as phloxes.

Habitat: Deserts, rocky canyons, hills, ridges, open pinyon-juniper woodlands.

Range: Interior of south British Columbia east of Cascades and Sierra Nevada south to southern California, east to Colorado and New Mexico.

Conservation: None reported.

Management needs: Manage habitat with host plants.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5, globally secure.


Bailowitz, R. A., and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. 
     Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc., Tucson, Arizona. 342 pages.

Emmel, T.C. and J.F. Emmel. 1973. The butterflies of southern California. 
     Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles. 148 pages.
Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 442 pages.

Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986.California Butterflies. University of California 
     Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. 246 pp, 24 plates.

Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. Lafontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. 
     University of Toronto Press, Toronto. 282 pages, 32 color plates.

Opler, P. A. 1968. Studies on nearctic Euchloe. Part 5.  Distribution. Journal 
     of Research on the Lepidoptera 7(2): 65-86.

Opler, P. A. 1969 (1970). Studies on nearctic Euchloe. Part 6.  Systematic of 
     adults. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 8(4): 153-168.

Opler, P. A. 1974. Studies on nearctic Euchloe. Part 7.  Comparative life 
     histories, hosts, and the morphology of immature stages. Journal of 
     Research on the Lepidoptera  13(1): 1-20.
Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin Co., 
     Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford  University 
     Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Author: Paul A. Opler

State and Regional References:

Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo. 

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Desert Marble (Euchloe lotta)
distribution map
map legend

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