Bird Families

Jaundice butterfly


“Those who like pancakes are not dangerous,” the famous heroes of Tove Jansson’s books used to say.

By the way, in Finland, pancakes are not fried in a pan, but baked in the oven. “When Snusmumrik and Hemul returned, everyone was sitting and treating themselves to pancakes and pike, which Moominpapa caught from the sea” (Tove Jansson, “The Magician's Hat”).

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 liter of milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix together milk, eggs, sugar and salt, whisk lightly. Continuing to stir the dough with a whisk, add flour in a thin stream. Leave the dough to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and pour the dough over it. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, bake for 30 minutes. Then take out, cut into squares and serve. Best with fresh berries such as blueberries or raspberries. By the way, they can be served not after the pancakes are ready, but during cooking add the berries to the dough. You can use both fresh and frozen berries.

Origin of the species and description

Photo: Butterfly jaundice

The jaundice (Colias hyale) is a butterfly belonging to the family of whiteflies (Pieridae). The moth has several other names: hyala jaundice (1758), small peat jaundice (1761), common jaundice. The genus has more than 80 species.

Interesting fact: The Latin name Colias hyale is given to the insect in honor of the nymph Giala. She was an admirer of the vegetation goddess Diana. Together they went to hunt and rest on the forest lakes. Their images in paintings adorn the halls of museums.

The species was first described by naturalist Karl Linnaeus.

Due to its wide distribution, there are many subspecies of the moth:

  • colias hyale hyale - common in Europe, CIS countries,
  • colias hyale altaica - Altai Territory,
  • colias hyale irkutskana - lives in Transbaikalia,
  • colias hyale alta - Central Asia,
  • colias hyale palidis - east of Siberia,
  • colias hyale novasinensis - China.

Fun Fact: During a long voyage around the world, Charles Darwin was delighted with the sight of these adorable creatures when a population migrating to Indonesia surrounded his ship and landed on it to rest.

Appearance and features

Photo: Meadow jaundice

It is easy to confuse the moth with insects from the genus whiteworms. Only their caterpillars, the color of which is very different, will help to dispel doubts. Caterpillars of this species are bright green in color. On the back there are yellow stripes and dark spots arranged in two rows.

Video: Butterfly jaundice

The color of the wings of butterflies is yellow, sometimes green. The size of the front and rear fenders is different, as is their color.

  • male wingspan - 5-6 centimeters,
  • females - a few millimeters less,
  • the length of the front wing of the male is 23-26 millimeters,
  • the length of the front wing of the female is 23-29 millimeters.

The upper side of the wings is usually yellow, the lower side is grayish. Above the front wing there is a dark sector with indistinct yellow spots. There are two black spots in the middle. On the hindwings there are orange discal spots, on top there are double spots. The lower part is bright yellow.

The female is much lighter and its background is almost white, with yellow scales. The pattern is the same for both sexes. The front wings are rectangular in shape, the hind wings are rounded. They are framed by a pink fringe. The head is round, the eyes resemble a hemisphere in shape and are the most complex organ, consisting of six thousand small lenses.

Antennae clavate, black, thickened at the apex, pink at the base. The limbs are well developed, each of them is used when walking. There are receptors on the legs. The abdomen is thin, tapering towards the edge. The chest is covered with long hairs.

Now you know what a jaundice meadow butterfly looks like. Let's see where she lives.

Where does the jaundice butterfly live?

Photo: Common jaundice

The distribution area of ​​the moth is very wide - Europe is up to 65 degrees north latitude. The insect prefers a warm, temperate climate.

In Russia, it can be found in many regions, with the exception of the north:

  • Gorno-Altai,
  • European Central,
  • Pribaikalsky,
  • Tuvinsky,
  • Volgo-Donsky,
  • Severo-Uralsky,
  • Kaliningrad,
  • European North East,
  • Nizhnevolzhsky and others.

It can be found almost everywhere in Eastern Europe. In the east, near the Polar Urals, migratory individuals are often recorded. For a long time, there was an opinion that the species does not live in the Ciscaucasia, but now it has been refuted. Insects do not fly to the Kola Peninsula, to deserts and subzones of dry steppes.

Favorite places are open spaces of forests and steppes, meadows, glades, forest edges, roadsides, gardens, river banks, wastelands. In flowering mountain meadows, you can see an insect at an altitude of 2 thousand meters above sea level. Found in Turkey, China, Mongolia.

Interesting fact: In the south of Europe and the Caucasus, there are twin species that even entomologists, Coliashyale and Coliasalfacariensis, cannot distinguish. In adults, coloration is identical and when the caterpillar stage ends, it will not be possible to identify the species.

In spring and summer, Lepidoptera migrate north in search of food plants. Inhabits alfalfa and clover fields. Due to migrations, the species is found in the territories of Denmark, Austria, Poland, Finland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Lithuania, Latvia, and the Netherlands.

What does the jaundice butterfly eat?

Photo: Butterfly jaundice from the Red Book

Imagoes feed mainly on nectar, which they collect from flowers of sweet clover, sweet clover, broom, meadow clover, crescent-shaped alfalfa, alfalfa, multicolored beetle, vetch (mouse pea), hypocrepsis, redhead, esparcet, crested horseshoe, rosaceous and other bean and cruciferous plants.

Caterpillars hatched from eggs superficially eat the flesh of leaves, leaving the veins. After the third instar, the larvae gnaw the leaves from the edges, along with the skeleton. Before hibernation, caterpillars feed intensively for a month, in spring this period is 20-23 days.

The jaundice Marco Polo, named by the Russian scientist Grigory Grum-Grzhimailo in honor of the Italian traveler, feeds on astragalus plants. The jaundice of Christophe feeds on cushion-shaped plants. Jaundice Wiskott chooses the slopes planted with rattleworm. Peat jaundice feed on blueberry leaves.

Caterpillars mainly feed at night. The imago has taste buds on its paws, allowing you to taste the nectar. The elastic and movable proboscis allows you to penetrate deep into the flower to get nectar. Caterpillars of some species prefer to feed on the leaves of thorny plants.

Features of character and lifestyle

Photo: Meadow jaundice butterfly

Moths fly in the southern regions from April to October. 2-3 generations of insects may appear per year. The first generation in regions with a temperate climate flies from May to June, the second from July to August. Lepidoptera of both generations often fly simultaneously.

Butterflies are active only in the daytime. At rest, their wings are always folded behind their backs, so it is extremely difficult to see the upper side of the wings. Individuals fly very quickly. In late spring and early summer, insects travel to the northern regions to settle in places with a sufficient number of forage plants.

Females are much less common than males, due to a sedentary lifestyle. They fly very rarely, most of the time they sit in the grass. Their flight is uneven, fluttering, galloping. Peat jaundice spends almost all its time in the swamps. Males, despite the sedentary lifestyle, can be found far beyond their usual habitat during the mass summer.

Maneuverable flight allows insects to cover considerable distances. They usually do not rise more than a meter from the ground. Life expectancy depends on the habitat. In favorable conditions, it can be up to 10 months. Some types of jaundice live only from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Social structure and reproduction

Photo: Common jaundice butterfly

Although the flight of Lepidoptera occurs once a summer, two generations appear in a year. On the wings of males there are special scales that evaporate pheromones, designed to attract females of the same species. These scales are arranged in clusters that form spots.

During the day, partners are looking for each other for mating, they fly quickly and without stopping. After mating, the females fly in search of food plants for caterpillars. They lay 1-2 eggs on the inside of the leaves or on the stems of the plant. Fusiform eggs with 26 or 28 ribs.

Immediately after laying, the egg is yellow, but by the time the caterpillar hatches, it acquires a red tint. The larva appears on the 7-8th day. The caterpillar is born green with pink spiracles about 1.6 mm long. The head is large, with white granules.

The summer generation develops in 24 days. Autumn larvae molt three times and go to winter. By this time, they grow to 8 mm. In Europe, caterpillars wrap themselves in leaves for the winter; in colder climates, they bury themselves in the ground.

By spring, the length of the larvae reaches 30 mm, they are covered with dark hairs. Pupation occurs after the fifth age. With a silk thread, caterpillars cling to a stem or leaf. The pupa is also green, 20-22 mm long. In anticipation of the appearance of the butterfly, the pupa turns red.

Natural enemies of jaundice butterflies

Photo: Butterfly jaundice from the Red Book

For the most part, the enemies of caterpillars are predatory insects that hunt them. Natural enemies of adults are insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals.

  • wasp wasps,
  • hymenoptera
  • sphecids,
  • spiders,
  • dragonflies,
  • ground beetles,
  • ants,
  • tahini flies,
  • predator bugs,
  • ladybugs,
  • praying mantises,
  • ktyri,
  • large-headed,
  • lizards,
  • rodents,
  • frogs.

Birds hunt larvae to feed their chicks. Some birds attack insects when they are resting, feeding or drinking water. Birds fiddle with butterflies against trees to make their wings fly off, after which they eat only the abdomen. Southern birds grab lepidoptera in flight.

Many invertebrates are no less dangerous for the genus. Parasitic wasps lay their eggs on leaves, which are then eaten by moths, becoming carriers of wasp larvae, which eat the butterfly alive. Inside the body, they feed on the organs of the jaundice, grow and develop. Up to 80 parasite larvae can crawl out of the caterpillar.

Some individuals fall into the cobweb, but many more insects die from predatory spiders that prefer active hunting. Parasites do not attack adults. They live on the body of a moth, but do not kill it, since their survival depends on the host.

Population and status of the species

Photo: Meadow jaundice

The number of peat jaundice is insignificant. In some areas, for example, in the Rivne Nature Reserve, at the height of summer, 6-10 butterflies are recorded per hectare of habitat. At the caterpillar stage, insects cause significant damage to agricultural crops.

Some farmers use insecticides to control the larvae. This causes irreparable damage to the population. Extraction of peat and drainage of bogs negatively affects the natural habitats of Lepidoptera, peat bogs are overgrown with trees and shrubs, which also leads to a decrease in numbers. Collecting blueberries negatively affects caterpillar development.

In Western Europe and some Central European countries, numbers dropped to critical levels over the 20th century. In biotopes, under suitable conditions, the number of individuals can be stable. In Belarus, it is gradually decreasing.

The limiting factors include the isolation of individual populations, a small area of ​​natural habitats, the development of oligotrophic bogs, burnout and the development of raised bogs. In areas where individuals were found in single quantities, these factors led to a significant decline in the population or complete disappearance.

Protection of jaundice butterflies

Photo: Common jaundice

Despite the fact that the genus belongs to the category of pests, it is nevertheless listed in the Red Book and protected by the law on ecology. Hekla jaundice and golden jaundice are included in the "Red Book of European Day Butterflies", they are assigned the SPEC3 category. Peat jaundice is listed in the Red Book of Ukraine with category I and in the Red Book of Belarus with category II.

Many species were included in the Red Data Book of the former USSR. Species experiencing a negative impact from humans need additional protection measures and control over their condition, search for populations in their habitats.

In Ukraine, peat jaundice is protected in several reserves in Polesie. In areas with a high population, it is recommended to build entomological sanctuaries with the preservation of peatlands in their natural state, which primarily concerns raised bogs.

In the event that swamps and adjacent forests dry up, it is necessary to take measures to restore the hydrological regime. These include the overlap of reclamation canals intended for the outflow of water from swamps. Clear felling of the forest is permissible without damaging the ground cover.

The species is protected on the territory of the NP "Nechkinsky" and the natural botanical reserve "Andreevsky pine forest". No additional measures are required on the territory of the protected areas. A set of standard activities focused on maintaining biodiversity is sufficient.

Jaundice butterfly provides tremendous benefits in contributing to pollination and self-pollination of many plants. Any natural resources are ever depleted and moths are no exception. Scientists have directed many efforts to research and protect the habitat of winged flowers, to preserve and increase their numbers.