Wild South Florida — Dainty Sulphur Butterfly
 
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Dainty Sulphur Butterfly
Dainty Sulphur Butterfly  

Dainty sulphur, Nathalis iole, earns the name. It is tiny, with a wingspan of an inch or less. It's commonly found flying just inches above the ground in search of its favorite plants, members of the aster family. In particular, it like Spanish needles, also known as shepherd's needle (scientific name: Bidens alba or Bidens pilosa). Look along the side of a road when you're stopped in traffic and you may see two or three or more of them going about their business. They do flutter about a lot, which makes photographying them a bit of

Dainty Sulphur Butterfly

 
 
Dainty Sulphur Butterfly
a chore, but they will rest with their wings folded, perpendicular to the sun in order to collect heat. They are found throughout Florida and in southern Texas, where they fly year around. Dainty sulphur also make their way to more colder climes, as far north as Minnesota and eastward to Pennsylvania. They tend to like open areas, including fields and roadsides. They have an elongated forewing; when you see them resting or feeding, you will likely see black spots and an orange/yellow strip along the wing edge. Another name for this butterfly: the dwarf yellow. We found this one resting at Pondhawk Natural Area in Boca Raton, but we've seen them fluttering along roadsides and in weedy yards.
 
 
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