I have idea what this is but it sure made my heart smile when it let me hold it.
Congrats on your first butterfly, and what a pretty picture!
I don't know what kind it is either, not being familiar with butterflies of Virginia, but it's some type of sulphur, probably a female, since she's pale.
I think that it is a cabbage white. They can have a yellow form. See link below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Cabbage white image from bug net
I think you're right!
I looked through my field guide and didn't see any sulphurs without a 'dot' so I looked at the pictures of whites, thinking there might be a yellow form, but it didn't show it.
Congrats on your first butterfly of the season, Sherry :)
We've had weather in the 60's and I patiently await my first sighting.
I've seen a few moths and other insects and a couple of small wolf spiders. Even got stung by a Yellow Jacket queen and my finger has been swollen all week!
My Anaphalis is an inch high and I hope to see an American Lady before too long.
Cabbage Whites also have a white form that does not have any dots:
Here is a link that might be useful: More photos on BAMONA of the yellow form
I should have mentioned that when it opened its wings it had a black dot on each of them.
I could not get a pic of it with its wings opened. My phone sucks with pics.
This is from that BAMONA website above for cabbage whites:
"Identification: Upperside of wings white; forewing with black tip. Two submarginal black spots in female, one in male. Underside of hindwing and forewing apex evenly yellow-green or gray-green. Spring and fall short-day form is smaller, less yellow, with reduced black areas."
Your cabbage white was a male.
Neat o!!!! I seen Something else that looks like the American lady today. by the time i got my camera it was gone within in seconds. I also seen a tiny butterfly that is blue.. Light blue, reminded me of a small moth.
What are the best / accurate websites to identify caterpillars and butterflies?
These are some that I use:
Butterflies Occurring in the DC Area (This website has flight times for most species occurring in our area).
This website is a good review for beginners.
online video of identifying skippers, too.
Butterflies of North America
Butterflies of the Carolinas and Virginias
Caterpillar host plant database, you can put the plant or butterfly in and get what plants it uses. Must use latin names. If it does come up with complete name listed, just take a few letters off the end and keep searching.
MA Butterflies you can do side-by-side comparisons
Just saw my first butterfly of the season today too! It was a mourning cloak and it was checking out some of the chokeberry fruit that was still on the bush from last year. I don't think it got any juice since the fruit is pretty dried out. I contemplated putting out the fruit feeder but opted not to with the upcoming wild weather we are expecting.
Today was the warmest day in 6 months at 70F, and tomorrow it is supposed to be 74! Then we are supposed to have a lot of storms and rain, possibly switching to snow, and highs only in the low 40s again for a bit. Poor little butterfly will have to find some place to hunker down again.
Put out that fruit feeder tomorrow and enjoy him if you can:) You can always take the feeder back indoors again when the weather turns.
Very cool! I have never seen such a yellow Cabbage White, but I do see the markings. Wow. Learn something new every day! (hopefully, anyway)
Thanks Mona. I've been looking at the links. Very cool. My Swamp milkweed has popped up. :)