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  • Clouded Sulphur - (Colias philodice)

    Clouded Sulphur - (Colias philodice)

    The Clouded Sulphur Butterfly and its elemental namesake share the same color, but that's where the similarities end.

    Staff Writer (12/30/2013): The medium-sized Clouded Sulphur butterfly can be seen flying in meadows, near puddles, along roads, in parks, crop fields, gardens and various other floral and/or muddy places. They are comfortable in urban, suburban and rural environs, making it quite likely to see them during the spring, summer and fall months.

    Female coloration stretches between bright yellow (like the solid state of sulphur) to greenish-white. Males are a rich, buttery yellow. Both have a double white spot on the forewing, though in males it is usually rimmed with a dark border so it is more visually pronounced. They are very similar in appearance to Orange sulphurs (also in the Colias genus) and can may be mistaken for them in the field. They fly direct routes to their destination, but it may look like they are sloppy in flight. Their front pair of legs are the same length as the others, whereas other families of butterflies have very short front legs. These long legs allow it to comfortably walk.

    Caterpillars are chubby and green with a black stripe along the body. They especially enjoy feeding on clover, but they will also eat the leaves of alfalfa and other bean plants.

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    Details of the:
    Clouded Sulphur

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Clouded Sulphur
    Scientific Name: Colias philodice
    Other Names: Common Sulphur

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Pieridae
           Genus: Colias
            Species: philodice

    Size (Adult, Length): 35mm to 51mm (1.38in to 2.01in)

    Identifying Colors: yellow; white; brown; red; black; pink; greenish

    Additional Descriptors: spot, flying, club

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.