Nathalis iole life history
Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole) Life History

10-7-09, ovipositing

10-7-09, an egg

10-9-09, one day old, not from same egg




10-18-09, one day before pupating; note brown knobs on head

10-19-09, recently formed chrysalis

10-24-09, one day before emerging

10-25-09, fresh Dainty Sulphur

I observed the female pictured at right ovipositing in early October. She used a plant called Threelobed Florestina (Florestina tripteris). Most butterflies either hide their eggs or at least oviposit them in inconspicuous places, but these eggs were on the upper side of large leaves where they could be easily spotted.

I monitored several eggs and gathered a caterpillar when it eclosed. I found two more caterpillars while gathering food for the one pictured in this study; all three were raised successfully.

Face of a different caterpillar

It took the caterpillar about ten days from emergence to pupation; the adult butterfly emerged 6 days later. Since I am not sure whether the caterpillar of the study came from an egg laid by the pictured female, I do not know how long the eggs took to eclose. However, it seems clear the journey from egg to adult takes less than three weeks.

Dainty Sulphur Page