Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - COLIADINAE
The genus Eurema has a worldwide
distribution, with 19 species found in the neotropical region.
On the upperside
species such as albula have a pure
white or whitish ground colour, but the males of most others are
some shade of yellow with a black apex and wing borders. Females
tend to be paler with narrower borders. The shape of the wings
varies according to species - some have rounded wings while others
such as salome have a squarish apex,
and have the hindwings drawn out to form a short tail.
The upperside forewings of male
Eurema elathea are yellowish, with a
broad blackish-brown apex, and a broad straight blackish bar along
the inner margin ( dorsum ). The hindwings of the male are white,
with a broad dark brown border. This species can easily be confused
with daira, but the latter has a
slightly curved bar on the forewings, rather than the straight bar
of elathea. Females of both species
lack the bar. They have white forewings and hindwings, both with
broad dark borders.
Eurema elathea occurs from the USA to
Paraguay, and is also present on most Caribbean islands.
Like most other Eurema species this
breeds in disturbed semi-open forest edge habitats, including
roadsides, riverbanks, secondary forest and farmland. It occurs at
altitudes between sea level and about 1800m.
The larval foodplants are Zornia and
Stylosanthes ( Fabaceae ).
This species is usually encountered
as colonies comprising of dozens or hundreds of individuals, which can
be seen fluttering slowly amongst low herbage in disturbed forest edge
sexes nectar at low growing flowers and at
Lantana bushes. Unlike other Eurema
species, the males of elathea do not
normally mud-puddle or visit river beaches.