Whites and Sulphurs

Family Pieridae

These butterflies have six completely developed walking legs (in contrast to Nymphalidae), and the apical claws are noticeably forked. In contrast to Papilionidae, the tibial spur on the front legs is lacking.

When warm weather permits, these butterflies regularly expand their range temporarily by migration.  The species commonly have multiple broods per year, but the cool weather broods may be darker and smaller (Allen 1997).

The most important two subfamiles of Pieridae are named for their predominant color:  the whites (Pierinae) and the sulphurs (Coliadinae). A third subfamily represented here are the Mmimic sulphurs (Dismorphiinae), whose name does not mean that they mimic sulphurs, but that they are sulphurs that mimic other, unpalatable, butterflies.

Click on a thumbnail to view species in the corresponding subfamily

Mimic Sulphurs

Leonila Vázquez García, Mexican entomologist



Leonila Vázquez García of Mexico spent most of her professional career studying Neotropical Lepidoptera, particularly in families Psychidae, Pieridae, and Papilionidae. A series of papers dated 1948 - 1952 focused on Pieridae, and increased the available information on that family in the Neotropics. Dra. Vázquez described 39 species of animals and plants during her career, but arguably more important was her teaching and mentoring of nearly 2000 students in classes in entomology and the biology of arthropods at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.