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Butterfly IMG_4813 - Anthocharis thoosa - female

Butterfly IMG_4813 - Anthocharis thoosa - Female
Kodachrome Basin State Park, Kane County, Utah, USA
March 31, 2013
Anthocharis sara thoosa seems closest but even so, the upper wing is pretty different.

Images of this individual: tag all
Butterfly IMG_4813 - Anthocharis thoosa - female Butterfly IMG_4813 - Anthocharis thoosa - female

Basically it is a female Sara Orangetip
However, this is a female (thus the broken pattern of the tip of the front wing) of what is sometimes separated as a distinct species - the "Southwestern Orangetip" - Anthocharis thoosa. For the present, this is included with A. sara as a subspecies on BugGuide. However, it is becoming more and more common for the southwestern populations (includes several subspecies) with more gray underside markings, and with a different color pattern on the caterpillars, to be treated as a distinct species. It is debated, because they on the one hand, they do look different, but on the other hand these often seem to blend with the other types where they meet.

Moved from Butterflies (excluding skippers).

Anthocharis thoosa thoosa
A. t. thoosa blends with A. t. inghami in NW Arizona; but, has been recorded within 15 miles of a stray A. sara sara (2nd brood) in the Dead Mts. of San Bernardino, CA. No other contact zones between species sara and species thoosa have been found in the Eastern Mojave of California.

Species Recommendation
Thank you for the help. Are you suggesting we should create an Anthocharis thoosa species page and move subspecies inghami, thoosa, and colorado to it? If so, can you provide sources? Or should we hold off? The most recent source I could find is Pelham, 2015 A Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada, which cites your work but says that the issue is unresolved.

For fun, I looked at BOLD. There are no examples from Utah shown and the examples labeled as thoosa are from California. They are in BOLD:AAE4182 which also contains A. sara sara. They are clustered in one branch with three other examples of A. sara sara and one of A. sara sempervirens. Perhaps these are incorrectly identified. You can see them here. The examples of A. sara inghami, BOLD:ABZ5365, are from just north of Phoenix and seem to be genetically separated from BOLD:AAE4182. It seems to support a species split.

Re: Species Recommendation
Yes. You can either wait for Pelham to update the catalog or change it now. I am revising the A. sara complex (paper in peer review now) where the subspecies assigned to A. thoosa are nominotypical thoosa, A. thoosa inghami, and A. thoosa colorado. This assignment is based upon a combination of six character sets--adult phenotypes, larval coloration, pupal cone shape, contact zone behavior, number of years pupae require to overwinter, and COI barcode sequencing.


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