Overview

Brief Summary

North American Ecology (US and Canada)

Resident in central North America (Scott 1986). Habitats are DRY CLEARINGS, FOOTHILL CHAPARRAL, PRAIRIE. Host plants are usually herbaceous with most hosts largely restricted to a few species in one family, Cruciferae. Eggs are laid on the host plant singly. Individuals overwinter as pupae. There are is one flight each year with the approximate flight time APR15-JUN15 in the northern part of the range and APR1-MAY15 in the southern part of their range (Scott 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
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Comprehensive Description

General Description

There are three superficially similar marble species in the province. The Olympia Marble is unlike other marbles in that the green markings of the underside are quite reduced, with a banded rather than a blotchy appearance. This species is also restricted to prairie grassland habitat.
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Distribution

This is a species of the Great Plains, found in the southern Prairie Provinces south to Texas and east to extreme southern Quebec. There are also isolated populations in the Appalachians (Opler 1999).
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Widespread in western North America between the Rockies and the Mississippi and into the Great Lakes region from southern Canada into Texas. The Appalachian population cluster, which itself has discontinuities, is very disjunct from others and occurs mostly on shale slopes and barrens from extreme southern Pennsylvania through parts of western Maryland and mainly northeastern West Virginia and adjacent Virginia into Kentucky; also a few occurrences in.

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Ecology

Habitat

Grasslands and badlands of the prairie region.
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Comments: Inhabits open woods, barrens, very dry meadows in eastern part of range and open grasslands to the west. Typically found in habitats that appear semi-arid with well-drained soils (Opler and Krisek, 1984). Appalachian populations are restricted to shale barrens and openings and right of ways on sunny wooded shale slopes and crests. Great Lakes region and southeastern Canadian populations are in dry meadows and open sandy woodlands on old dunes and in alvars.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

The larval food plants are currently not known in Alberta; elsewhere, flowers and seeds of wild mustards are eaten, such as rock cresses (Arabis spp.) and Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) (Layberry et al. 1999). Nectar sources for adults have not been reported in Canada; in Michigan, Olympia Marbles can be found at the flowers of wild mustards (Brassicaceae), wild strawberry, and lupines (Nielsen 1999).
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Associations

Flowering Plants Visited by Euchloe olympia in Illinois

Euchloe olympia W.H. Edward: Pieridae, Lepidoptera
(observations are from Campbell and Motten)

Caryophyllaceae: Stellaria pubera sn (Cmp); Portulacaceae: Claytonia virginica sn (Cmp, Mtt)

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: > 300

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Global Abundance

10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Males patrol for females (Scott, 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
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Cyclicity

One yearly generation, with peak adult flight activity from mid May to mid June.
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Life Cycle

The mature larva is green, striped with grey and yellow (Layberry et al. 1998).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Euchloe olympia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Not of concern.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Very local and threatened in parts of eastern range, but secure northward and westward, probably even increasing in some northern areas. If they were treated separately the Appalachian populations would be at least globally uncommon if not imperiled.

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Global Short Term Trend: Increase of 10 to >25%

Comments: This species has recently expanded its range in Great Lakes regions of Ontario and western New York.

Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%

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Threats

Degree of Threat: Medium

Comments: This species is not threatened overall, but it has been substantially impacted in Appalachia by gypsy moth spraying, a threat that may continue and could eradicate the species from some areas. This threat could expand into other regions. Available data suggest butterflies as a whole are highly sensitive to Btk, and most Lepidoptera definitely are in first and second instars (Peacock et al., 1998). Exposure of these instars would be high, up to the entire larval cohort for the year, during typical gypsy moth suppression applications. Diflubenzuron would, if anything, be more lethal to larvae and might also have some impact on other stages.

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Management

Biological Research Needs: Better information on the potential threat posed by Btk spraying is needed, to a lesser extent better information regarding Diflubenzuron impacts is needed. Also it would be very useful to know if some pupae overwinter more than once before hatching, which would greatly reduce the chance that a single incident of gypsy moth spraying would eradicate a population.

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Global Protection: Unknown whether any occurrences are appropriately protected and managed

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Wikipedia

Euchloe olympia

The Olympia Marble (Euchloe olympia), is a butterfly in the Pieridae family. Its range is southern Canada and the midwest, down into the southwestern USA.[1]

References

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