Powdered Brimstone

Gonepteryx farinosa (Zeller, 1847)



A medium-large plain pale-yellow butterfly. The males and females are similar, almost white in flight. In the centre of each wing there is a small brown spot, along with its wings shape makes it quite distinctive. However, it can be easily confused with other females of the same genius. The key diagnostic features are that the costa of the forewing (leading edge) is straight and not slightly concave as in G. rhamni. There is no pale orange streak on the forewing underside. The lower-half of the hind wing has prominent cusps, which are not obvious in other species of the genius.

Habitat Requirements

Unclear at this time but indications are that its distribution may be restricted to that of its host plant.

Larval Foodplants

Crown of Thorns/Christ's Thorn Paliurus spina-christi, Rhamnus alaternus, Buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica - not on Corfu, Rhamnus lycioides ssp. graeca. However, it is possible that the obligate factor in the presence of the Powdered Brimstone is the existence of - Rhamnus lycioides (syn Rhamnus pallasii), which is itself a distinctive plant.


Dan Danahar suspected the occurance of Gonepteryx farinosa on Corfu after taking a  photograph of a likely candiate in Kyprinades on 08/04/2015. He shared this information with a group of butterfly enthusiasts who visited Corfu in April 2019. During their visit Harry E Clarke was able to take another confirmatory photograph of this species. Careful examination of this species' hindwing morphology will aid identification. Once reliable observations can be acquired, distribution and flight periods should be clearer.

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Powdered Brimstone submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2022 15/05/2022 15/05/2022 0 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 0
2022 1
2021 0
Grand Total 1

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Powdered Brimstone (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023 submitted online since 1st January 2023 to 8th June 2023.

Flight Times for the Powdered Brimstone (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month based on all data submitted online since 1st January 2019 to 8th June 2023.


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Powdered Brimstone
  • Family: Pieridae (Swainson, 1820)
  • Sub-family: Coliadinae (Swainson, 1827)
  • Tribe: Rhodocerini (Duponchell, [1835])
  • Genus: Gonepteryx (Leach, 1815)
  • Species: farinosa (Zeller, 1847)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.