|scientific name Colias christina |
common name Christina's Sulphur
Most common in mountain meadows, also boreal pine woodlands and fescue grasslands.
One yearly flight, peaking from late June to mid August depending on habitat.
Males of the Christina Sulphur can be recognized by the following characteristics: at least some bright orange on the upperside, but not extending all the way to the base of the forewing (as in C. meadii and C. canadensis), row of underside submarginal spots absent (usually) or weakly developed (rarely). Females are more difficult to identify with certainty because of the huge amount of variation they exhibit, both in ground colour (Orange, yellow, cream or white) and the extent of the dark border (nearly absent to well-developed). However, like the males, the underside spots are usually absent, and orange forms have a yellow forewing base. Our northern boreal populations are subspecies christina (Christina was described from northeastern Alberta), but designation of a subspecies to non-boreal populations remains uncertain (Bird et al. 1995).
The mature larva is dark green with a white basal stripe, dashed with red behind each spiracle. Pupae are yellow-green with broad yellow stripe (Guppy & Shepard 2001).
Not of concern.
The larval foodplants are presumed to include Buffalo Bean (Thermopsis rhombifolia) and Hedysarum sulphurescens in Alberta, since females lay eggs on these species (Bird et al. 1995). Other legume species are also likely hosts.
Alaska to Manitoba, south to Wyoming and South Dakota (Opler 1999).
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