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Mexican Yellow (Eurema mexicana)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Mexican Yellow

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Image Credit: Arch Baker, taken in OK
Full-sized image of the Mexican-Yellow-Butterfly Thumbnail image of the Mexican-Yellow-Butterfly

In the warmest part of the year, the Mexican Yellow ventures north to brighten the summer days of the U.S. Southwest and western plains.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Yellows are a group of pale yellow butterflies, some of which have pointed hindwings. The Mexican Yellow is one of those, and it is a helpful feature for identification. On the underside, a light brown diagonal streak crosses the hindwing which may also have rippled brown freckles on it. The forewing has a dark edge and the underside has a single black dot near the center of the edge. The top sides of the forewings are a pale yellow with a thick, irregular-shaped black border that makes the yellow parts look somewhat like a dog's profile. Hindwings may have a two-toned yellow interior, but also have a thick, black edge.

While common in Mexican states, this species is less so in the United States. Its caterpillar is green with a thin, white line that runs down the side of the body. It feeds on fern acacia, a native plant known for its drought tolerance. Locust leaves and other legumes are also food plants. Look for the sunny adults flying in prairies and hillsides. In Mexico, this species also takes advantage of more humid, tropical areas.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Pieridae
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          Genus: Eurema
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            Species: mexicana
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Eurema mexicana
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 44mm to 63mm (1.73" to 2.48")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow, brown, black
Descriptors: sulphur, flying, tropical, pointed tip on wing

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 44mm (1.7in) and 63mm (2.5in)
Lo: 44mm
Md: 53.5mm
Hi: 63mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Mexican Yellow may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects 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. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Mexican Yellow. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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