En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - October 10, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Bright yellow butterfly in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mike Quinn

QUESTION:

What is the name of the small bright yellow butterfly that is dancing all over Austin at this time of year?

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants' expertise isn't really in identifying insects, but Mr. SP has some great friends who ARE experts.  I contacted Mike Quinn, who is the president of the Austin Butterfly Forum and Invertebrate Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.  Here are the species he told me that are about now:

Little yellows (Pyrisitia lisa) are the ones in largest numbers right now.  Here are more photos.

There are a few Sleepy orange (Abaeis nicippe) about and here are more photos.  

There are also some Southern dogface (Zerene cesonia), however they are a bit large for what you are seeing, I think. 

There are also a few Cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae) still about.  Here are more photos.

Here are a couple of guides that Mike recommended:

1.  Butterflies Through Binoculars, The West
Jeffrey Glassberg, 2001.
Oxford University Press, Oxford. 384 pp.

2. Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)
Jim P. Brock & Kenn Kaufman. 2003. 2006.
Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 384 pp.
 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Butterfly gardening in Quitman, TX
February 11, 2009 - We want to establish a butterfly garden in our back yard. What plants should we establish to attract the butterfly for food and host planting?
view the full question and answer

Is Passiflora 'Purple Haze' a host to Gulf Frittilary butterflies?
September 14, 2011 - Is the passion flower purple haze (pasionaria purple haze) a host plant to gulf frittilary butterflies as is the passiflora incarnata passion flower?
view the full question and answer

Butterfly plants from Austin TX
December 17, 2012 - I have a butterfly garden in the front part of the house facing the south side. However it is also mostly under a few Oak trees that cast shadow over half of the front yard starting early afternoon. ...
view the full question and answer

Orange eggs on milkweed plants
October 18, 2012 - Hello I have milk weed in my flower garden. Every year I find small orange 'eggs' on the leaves and stems of the plant. I don't think these are the monarch eggs, but not sure if they are other...
view the full question and answer

Non-invasive plants for hummingbird and butterfly garden
January 20, 2009 - Hello :) I've been building a huge Hummingbird and Butterfly garden. Up until now I've only had the Milkweeds and Dill for host plants for the Monarch and Black Swallowtail Butterflies. I'd love t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center