Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Straight-barred Grass Yellow
Eurema elathea  CRAMER, 1777
subfamily - COLIADINAE
Eurema elathea Adrian Hoskins
The genus Eurema has a worldwide distribution, with 19 species found in the neotropical region.
On the upperside some 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 butterfly 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 ).
Adult behaviour

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 habitats.

Both 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.



Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution



Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles


Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia


Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books



Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images






All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host