Olympia Marble

Euchloe olympia

The Olympia Marble is the smallest White in Wisconsin. It is found from mid-April through early June, depending upon the year and where you are in the state. In Waushara County, I regularly look for this species just as the Pasque Flowers are just getting past their prime.

Sunny, but windy spring days are the norm when looking for this species. Because of its skittishness, I have fewer photos per hour of attempt of photographing this species than for any other Wisconsin butterfly. I once followed a single Olympia Marble butterfly up and down several Pasque-flowered hills for over an hour as it alighted to nectar or rest for only seconds, whether I was there or watched from afar.

Weekly sightings for Olympia Marble

Identifying characteristics

A small, 1.25 inch wingspan, white butterfly with few dark spots on the upper wings, and a very distinctive yellow-green marbling on the under wings.

Similar species

Its small size and the yellow-green marbling below make it unlikely that you will mistake any other Wisconsin butterfly for this species.

Habitat

Open, usually sandy or barren areas where rock cress, its larval host plant, occurs.

Flight

One flight from mid-April through the first week in June.

Abundance

Locally abundant. In good habitat more than fifty have been reported in a single day.

Early Olympia Marble Sightings

Date County Reported by
Mar 28, 2012 Marquette Dan Sonnenberg
Mar 28, 2012 Sauk Ann Thering
Apr 1, 2012 Jackson Mike Reese
Apr 4, 2012 Adams Dan Sonnenberg
Apr 5, 2012 Sauk Ann Thering

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Olympia Marble
Map key
Olympia MarbleClick to enlarge

South of Richford, Waushara Co., WI. April 27, 2003.

Olympia MarbleClick to enlarge

Nectaring on host plant

Danbury Wildlife Area, Burnett Co., WI. May 23, 2009.

Olympia MarbleClick to enlarge

2.5 miles West of Wautoma, Waushara Co., WI. April 26, 2003.

Olympia MarbleClick to enlarge

2.5 miles West of Wautoma, Waushara Co., WI. April 26, 2003.

Olympia MarbleClick to enlarge

West of Wazee Park, Jackson Co., WI. May 8, 2004.