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Maple Leaves
SpeciesBank | Butterflies | Alphabetical index | Taxonomic index | Glossary
Family Pieridae | Subfamily Coliadinae | Previous | Next

Mexican Yellow
Eurema mexicanum (Boisduval, 1836)

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Diagnosis: This small sulphur (wingspan: 33 to 44 mm) is the only pierid found in Canada with a suggestion of tails. It has cream-coloured wings with black borders that resemble the shape of a wolf's head on the forewings; there is usually some yellow near the wing base.

Range: Although mainly a Mexican butterfly, this species strays northward regularly into the central and southwestern U.S. It has only reached Canada on a few widely scattered occasions, once at Point Pelee, Ontario, in 1882, and five times in southern Manitoba. There is also one Saskatchewan record from near the town of Somme.

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Similar Species: The Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia) is mainly yellow, larger, and has no tails. [compare images]

Early Stages: The pale green larva feeds on various species in the pea family (Fabaceae) that do not occur in Canada.

Abundance: The Mexican Yellow is a very rare stray in Canada.

Flight Season: Recorded dates for this butterfly in Canada range from 28 June to 29 September.

Habits: A highly migratory butterfly, this species would most likely be found in dry, open areas.

© 2002. This material is reproduced with permission from The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.

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Date Modified: 2010-05-31