Monday, October 23, 2006

Cloudless Sulphur in Malibu

While the buttterflying is winding down for the season in the Santa Monica Mountains, there is always time for a surprise sighting. Yesterday while driving on PCH near Point Dume, I noticed a male Cloudless Sulphur flying around some large cassia (Senna sp?) bushes.
If I have the time I always check a cassia at the entrance to Sycamore Canyon Campground for this species where I had seen one once in late summer. After the PCH sighting, I checked this spot out again, but no luck this time.
Although cassia isn't native to the Santa Monica Mountains, (or any of the cismontane Los Angeles area for that matter), many folks have planted this genus in the area attracting Cloudless Sulphurs and if we are lucky Sleepy Orange, as it is the foodplant of both species. Although it is relatively easy to see a Cloudless Sulphur at 45 MPH on PCH, the smaller Sleepy Orange could well be missed. Maybe next weekeend, I will have time to stop and park and check out those cassias a little more thoroughly.


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