New Jersey Butterflies

Dainty Sulphur

Nathalis iole

Identification: Tiny—<1". Our smallest sulphur. Below: HW yellowish or grayish-green. FW base is bright yellow/orange with 2 prominent black spots (one larger) closer to margin. Bright FW patch visible in flight which is very weak and near the ground. Rarely seen basking with open wings.

NJ Status and Distribution: Stray. A southern and western species for which there are only 2 photo-documented NJ records: Cape May, 9/28/07; and Delaware Water Gap NRA, Warren County, 8/13/12.

NJ Range Map-Dainty Sulphur

Habitat: Open, sunny, upland fields and disturbed areas such as riverbanks.

Flight Period: In NJ most likely to be seen in late summer and fall.

Larval Food Plants: Aster family, especially the genus Bidens.

Overwintering Stage: Not known to overwinter in NJ.

Best Locations: None.

Comments: In 2012 over much of the U.S. this highly irruptive species was seen in unprecedented numbers well north its normal range.

Dainty Sulphur

Depew Island, Warren Co. 8/13/12.