Anthocharis lanceolata desertolimbus

Desert Edge Gray Marble

This subspecies was named in the Systematics book in 1998, and is distinguished from australis by its smaller size, and by a tendency for the ventral hind wings to have a darker basal half and a lighter outer half. The dark basal half is not as dark as with australis, most often but not always. The qualities separating these subspecies are best seen with a series of specimens side-by-side. At any rate, they are easy to distinguish from other whites in the area.

Desertolimbus flies in one brood, generally in March and early April. The host plant mentioned in the original description is Boechera perennans. A good place to see this butterfly is Cactus Spring Trail in Riverside Co. The subspecies is a Colorado desert-edge inhabitant from around Palm Springs down into Mexico.

Anthocharis lanceolata desertolimbus - Desert Edge Gray Marble
Anthocharis lanceolata desertolimbus, a subspecies of the gray marble named in 1998. Photographed along the Cactus Springs Trail in the Santa Rosa Mountains, March 30, 2011. This one is taking nectar on Acmispon rigidus - desert lotus.
Anthocharis lanceolata desertolimbus - Desert Edge Gray Marble
Another desertolimbus, this one from April 4, 2015, also from Cactus Springs Trail.
Anthocharis lanceolata desertolimbus larva
The larva of desertolimbus has yellow along the top of the white stripe, an easy way to differentiate it from the much more common Anthocharis sara larvae that also use Boechera perennans.
Boechera perennans - Nevada rockcress, a larval food plant of Anthocharis lanceolata desertolimbus
Boechera perennans from the San Jacintos.

©Dennis Walker