Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - COLIADINAE
Patagonia, Arizona, USA
© Frank Model
2 species now placed in Abaeis were
originally included within the pan-tropical genus
Eurema, and are still retained in that
genus by some workers - phylogenetics is not an exact science, much
depends on methodologies and opinion, so there is often a lack of
consensus among the scientific community about the status of any
of both species have orange-yellow uppersides, while the females are
paler. They are very similar at first glance to
Eurema, but whereas
Eurema have narrow or non-existent
borders to the upperside hindwings, those of
Abaeis are very broad, and deep chocolate brown in colour.
The borders on the forewings are also broad, and curve around to
reach about halfway along the costa.
is found from the southern states of the USA to Costa Rica,
and also occurs on the Cayman islands, Bahamas and Greater Antilles.
The other Abaeis species
nicippiformis, is endemic to
This species can be found in open grassy habitats at elevations up
to about 600m.
egg is pale yellow,
becoming reddish after a day or two. It is laid singly, either on
the underside of a leaf, or on a flower-bud of the foodplant. The
larva is pale green above, and dark green below, and has a pale
yellow lateral stripe. When young it rests on the underside of a
or Trifolium ( Fabaceae )
and nibbles at the cuticle creating characteristic feeding marks in
the form of elongated holes. When fully grown the larva rests on the
upper surface of the leaf, eating chunks from the leaf tip. The pupa
is green with a pale yellow lateral stripe, and protruding wing
pads. It is usually formed away from the foodplant on the stem of a
are usually encountered in two's or three's, imbibing moisture from
Females are more often
seen nectaring at flowers along roadsides, or exploring sunny wood
edge habitats in search of egg-laying sites.
flight is fluttery but fairly rapid, and close to the ground.