Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - COLIADINAE
© Peter Bruce-Jones
Butterflies in the
Coliadinae, commonly known as Brimstones, Sulphurs, Grass Yellows
and Clouded Yellows, are found in all parts of the world, and total
about 300 species.
are 83 known Colias species worldwide,
and the majority are migratory to some degree, e.g. the common
Clouded Yellow crocea migrates each
summer from north Africa to southern England, sometimes arriving in
tens of thousands.
Colias species occur in Africa -
crocea - a Palaearctic species only
found north of the Sahara desert; erate
which is found in Ethiopia and Sudan; mukana
- separated from electo by Berger in
1981, and found in Cameroon, Congo and Malawi; - and the illustrated
Colias electo is distributed from s.w.
Arabia to Angola, Uganda and South Africa, with an additional
isolated population in Cameroon.
This is a montane species found at altitudes
between about 1600-3000m.
The larval foodplants include
Robinia and other Fabaceae.
Both sexes spend much of their time, especially in
the mornings, basking on bare ground with their wings perpendicular to
the sun's rays, trying to raise their body temperatures to the point
where they are able to fly.
as with other montane
Colias species across the world, the
fly very rapidly, just above ground level, dipping down periodically
to investigate pale objects that might potentially be females. The
latter are equally active, but spend their time searching for plants
on which to lay their eggs. Both sexes regularly visit wild flowers,
nectaring avidly at Fabaceae and Gentianaceae.