clouded sulphur

(Colias philodice)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

clouded sulphur

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Two or three broods from mid-May to late October.

Habitat

Fields, lawns, roadsides, meadows, and other open areas.

Size

Wingspan: 1 to 2¾


Identification

This is a medium-sized to large butterfly.

This butterfly rarely lands with wings open so the features in this paragraph are seldom useful in the field. On the male the upperside of both wings are yellow with a wide, solid, black border at the outer margins. There is a small black spot near the middle of the leading margin of the forewing and a small silver spot with an orange border on the hindwing. The female wings have fainter black markings and have yellow spots within the black border.

The underside of both wings is yellow with a row of small, faint, brown, submarginal spots. The hindwing has a double spot of silver rimmed with pink.

There is also a white-form female with greenish-white wings.

The caterpillar is green and up to 1 long. As with all caterpillars, there is a row of small, oval to round openings (spiracles) on the on each side of the body. The spiracles appear on the first segment of the thorax and the first through eighth segments of the abdomen. There is a white stripe in this spiracular area extending from just behind the head to the anal plate. The stripe is edged in black or dark green at the bottom and may have a thin bar of pink or orange in the center.

 
Similar
Species

Orange sulphur (Colias eurytheme) has at least some orange on the upperside of the hindwing, but this is only visible in flight. It often has some orange visible on the underside of the forewing. The black band on the outer margin of the upperside of the forewing is wider, but this is not distinguishable in the field.


Larval Food

White clover (Trifolium repens) and sweet clover (Melilotus spp) are the preferred hosts. Other foods include Alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa), bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus), vetches (Vicia), and other plants in the pea family (Fabaceae).

 
Adult Food

Flower nectar

 
Life Cycle

Females lay pale eggs singly near the center of a leaflet on host plants.

The last brood overwinters as pupae.

 
Behavior

They can often be seen in large numbers at mud puddles.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 20, 21, 24, 29, 71.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])

 

Family:

Pieridae (whites, yellows and sulphurs)

 

Subfamily:

Coliadinae (sulphurs and yellows)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

clouded sulphur


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Bill Reynolds


  clouded sulphur    

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
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Slideshows

   
  Clouded Sulphurs
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Clouded Sulphurs  
 
About

Colias philodice

larva:

bugguide.net/node/view/8840/bgimage

 
     
  Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)
Bill Keim
 
  Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)  
     
  Colias philodice (Clouded Sulphur)
Allen Chartier
 
  Colias philodice (Clouded Sulphur)  
     
  Clouded/Orange Sulphur
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Clouded/Orange Sulphur  
     
  Clouded Sulpher
jt893x
 
  Clouded Sulpher  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Clouded Sulphur (Pieridae: Colias philodice) on Thistle Blossom
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 19, 2010

Photographed at the Kellys Slough NWR, North Dakota (19 August 2010).

 
     
  Clouded Sulphur
Bryan Glemboski
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 30, 2012

Clouded Sulphur at Potowome for the East Bay Butterfly Count, 6/30/12

 
     
  Clouded Sulphur (Pieridae: Colias philodice) on Grass Stem
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 29, 2010

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (28 July 2010).

 
     
  Clouded Sulphur butterfly
Quiscalus107
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 22, 2011

Short clip of a Clouded Sulphur butterfly that was attracted to the bright yellow toy left out on the lawn. It must've thought it was a flower

 
     

 

Camcorder

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