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Gonepteryx farinosa

Powdered Brimstone

Field Notes

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Pelopennesos, Greece, June 2002 (m)

A correspondent has correctly identified this as G. rhamni, not farinosa.
Note the concave costa - this should be straight or convex in farinosa.


Pelopennesos, Greece, June 2002 (m)

Yellower forewing, greener hindwing may be visible here.


Natural History Museum, London (m)

Roughened forewing and antennal clubs pink


Natural History Museum, London (m)

Reduced hindwing hook and deeper scallops of inner margin.


These photos are of the Powdered Brimstone. Don't believe me??? They were taken in southern Greece in very hot conditions. They would not settle long enough to get any reasonable photos and when they did feed long enough they were always at a poor angle.

They are very similar to the Brimstone, G. rhamni. Compared to rhamni, key differences (some are illustrated above) for farinosa are:

  • Wing shape: hindwing inner margin has two deeper scallops from the less prominent "hook". Forewing costa is gently curving to the wing tip, rhamni is straight for much of the wingspan.

  • Texture: the male forewing is roughened by scales giving it a dulled texture; rhamni has very short neat scales giving a shiny appearance. This is only visible on caught specimens both butterflies never rest with their wings open.

  • Male upperside forewing is allegedly yellower than the greenish hindwing - perhaps this is visible in the photo above. This was visible in flight but would not have been sufficient to identify it alone.

  • Antennal clubs pink.

  • rhamni is widespread across much of Europe, farinosa is only in the southern Balkans, especially Greece.