orange sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae)
SUBFAMILY: Sulphurs (Coliadinae)
IDENTIFICATION: Quite variable. Upperside of male yellow with orange
overlay, yellow veins, wide black border, and dark black cell spot. Female
yellow or white with irregular black border surrounding light spots.
Underside hindwing spot silver with 2 concentric dark rings, and a spot
LIFE HISTORY: Males patrol for receptive females, who lay eggs singly on
top of host plant leaves. Most feeding takes place at night. Young
caterpillars chew holes in the tops of leaves, then later feed from the
leaf tip. Older caterpillars eat half of the leaf before moving to the other
half. Chrysalids overwinter.
FLIGHT: Two-three flights in the north from June-October, 4-5 in the
south from March-November.
WING SPAN: 1 3/8 - 2 3/4 inches (3.5 - 7 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Plants in the pea family (Fabaceae) including
alfalfa (Medicago sativa), white clover (Trifolium repens), and white
sweet clover (Melilotus alba).
ADULT FOOD: Nectar from many kinds of flowers including dandelion,
milkweeds, goldenrods, and asters.
HABITAT: A wide variety of open sites, especially clover and alfalfa fields,
mowed fields, vacant lots, meadows, road edges.
RANGE: Southern Canada to central Mexico, coast to coast in the United
States except for the Florida peninsula. Comments: One of the most
widespread and common butterflies in North America.
CONSERVATION: Not required.
NATURESERVE GLOBAL STATUS: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally,
though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the
MANAGEMENT NEEDS: Caterpillars can be very destructive in alfalfa
SKY MEADOWS OCCURRENCE:
Note: Due to seasonal conditions in this region, occurrence may vary from
year to year. The designation of occurrence may range over two or more
categories and may vary even during a single season.
Key to Checklist
A Abundant: Easy to see very large numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
C Common: Usually each to see good numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
U Uncommon: Sometimes found in appropriate habitat and proper time of year,
usually in low numbers.
O Occasional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times a year, usually
in low numbers.
R Rare: Small chance of being found, even in appropriate habitat at proper time of
year. There are few individuals and may not be present every year.
X Extirpated: Formerly present, no longer occurs in Sky Meadows Park.
Crooked Run Valley