Euchloe falloui

Scarce Green Striped White

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: falloui

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

Photo: falloui

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

Field notes and information

This is a real desert specialist, flying in the extreme climates of the northern Sahara and well south into the oases. I've found them sparingly in a band east and west of Gafsa, Tunisia in early April. The sun was already very strong and hot at this time of the year. Luckily in 1999 we arrived in the desert to puddles at the roadside. There was extensive lush growth in many places although there remained vast tracts of desolate land.

Identification & Similar species: It has a close relative with which it flies - the green striped white, E. belemia. That species is similar but the underside stripes are irregular, ill defined and form rather indistinct bands. The current species has bold stripes and is unmistakable on closer inspection. The upperside forewing cell spot does not reach the coast.

Distribution & Flight: Sahara upto the southern mountains of the Maghreb. The extreme climate where this species lives lead to variation in flight time, usually flying February to June with an occasional partial brood in autumn in 2 or 3 broods. In some years it is said to be very scarce. The theory for this is desiccation or non-appearance of the foodplant in very dry springs.

Habitat & Behaviour: Very hot dry wadis and dry scrub. Flies fast across barren land, settling briefly for nectar on rare flowering plants.

Variation: The white markings show marked variation, but this is not consistant.

Photo: falloui

Gafsa, Tunisia, April 1999 (c) Peter Rowlings

Photo: falloui

Gafsa, Tunisia, April 1999 (c) Peter Rowlings

Photo: falloui

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

Photo: fallouiPhoto: falloui

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

Photo: falloui

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

Photo: falloui

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013