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Southern Dogface Butterfly (Colias [Zerene] cesonia)

Natural History

Southern Dogface Butterfly is a member of the Pieridae Family (which includes Sulphur and White butterflies). The Southern Dogface is a large, bright yellow butterfly with a black outline that somewhat resembles a dog's head on it's top wing (you can see this faintly in the photo below, the black dot is the dog's eye). The markings on females of the species are somewhat less prominent. The butterfly has a wingspan of 2.25 - 2.5 inches and may be found flying throughout the year.

Sulphur butterflies rarely open their wings, except in flight or when mating, so getting a photo of the top wing can be difficult.

This butterfly lives in open, dry areas such as thorn scrub and agricultural areas throughout the southwest. The larval host plant is the false indigo bush, and other legumes. The caterpillar is green with black and yellow stripes.

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