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Pieris - Pieris marginalis

Pieris - Pieris marginalis
Sitka County, Alaska, USA
May 20, 2010
I'm trying to figure out whether his is oleracea or marginalis.

Images of this individual: tag all
Pieris - Pieris marginalis Pieris - Pieris marginalis

I should have also mentioned the Butterflies of America
web site. There are lots of pictures of Pieris here, that can be useful for comparison and as something of a guide. One problem is that the subspecies that i suspect should be in your area is not shown yet (Pieris marginalis guppyi).

based on location
Pieris marginalis, seems most likely. The studies I've seen don't convince me of more than regional racial distinction between the three North American "species" of this group, but I'm not an expert, just a skeptic. The "species" distinction seems to be more geographic than reality to me, and such a treatment may not stand the test of time; however, for the moment there seem to be three geographic "species" recognized. Many (including myself - tentatively) still believe they are just regional variants of the widespread and varied P. napi of Eurasia. If I understand the current interpretation of these "species" properly, P. oleracea is found east of the Prairies in the ne. US, and east of the mountains in forested Canada. P. marginalis is found in the west south from the Yukon, and southernmost Alaska. P. angelica is found west but further northward. I'm not sure how it is decided which is which except by location, and I think it is gestalt and imagination that separates them where they meet (but maybe they really are different?). They all favor cool moist wooded environments, which means just about everywhere in the north, and in mountains in the southwest of the continent.

Anyway, sorry about the long commentary. I hope it is useful.

Moved from ID Request.

Thanks for the help. I d
Thanks for the help.

I did a little more poking around based on what you said, and found the E-fauna BC site shows all three species occurring in British Columbia. That said, P. oleracea appears to be restricted to the east side of the coastal range. On the other hand, the map for P. angelika shows a record from Sitka, though it does seem like a bit of a stretch, as it's the only coastal record shown for BC/Southeast Alaska, so I imagine P. marginalis would be the expected species as you say.

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