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Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Clouded Sulphur.


 Updated: 5/16/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Clouded Sulphur  
Picture of Clouded-Sulphur


The pale yellow Clouded Sulphur Butterfly is a common summertime guest in backyards and parks, happily flitting about the flowers.





Sulphur (also spelled sulfur) is a yellow nonmetal that is often associated with a rotten egg smell. The butterfly takes after this element's color, not its odor. Female Clouded Sulphurs have colors that range from bright yellow to greenish-white. Males are typically a richer, buttery yellow. Both genders have a double white spot on the forewing, though in males it is more visually pronounced with its dark border. 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 readily walk. This butterfly species is very similar in appearance to Orange Sulphurs (also in the Colias genus) and may be mistaken for them in the field. Clouded Sulphurs do not meander. Instead, they fly direct routes to their destination, though it may look sloppy.

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. The medium-sized Clouded Sulphur butterfly can be seen flying in meadows, near puddles, along roads, in parks, crop fields, gardens, and various muddy places. They are comfortable in urban, suburban and rural environs, making it likely most people will see them sometimes during the spring, summer and fall months.
Basic Information
Common Name: Clouded Sulphur
Other Name(s): Common Sulphur
Scientific Name: Colias philodice
Category: Butterfly or Moth


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 51mm (1.37in to 1.99in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: yellow; white; brown; red; black; pink; greenish
Additional Descriptors: spot, flying, club




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


Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Clouded Sulphur may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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