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margined white - Pieris marginalis

margined white - Pieris marginalis
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
July 17, 2010
Size: ~ 1" square
I've been assuming margined for my area by elimination, eg, "In southern BC there are no other Pieris except P. rapae [cabbage]..." (1). This one is being leapt upon by a European skipper (Thymelicus lineola). There were hordes of these skippers in the park, and often a white could not sit for five seconds without being harrassed by a skipper.

Interesting about the skippers
Do you think this was more territory protection than mating behavior? Looks like it from the shot. (I've seen lots of butterflies courting other species.)

I am not sure.
Both possibilities crossed my mind. But what I observed were large numbers of skippers or groups of skippers in fairly close proximity over a large area. They tended to crowd together on various flowers and clusters of flowers (eg vetch); that is, they didn't seem to be defending individual turf. I did see encounters, though, for instance: one skipper leapt and sidled up behind another skipper, but the second one rather stiffly stood its ground and the "aggressor" moved on.

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