Clouded Sulphur Butterfly - Colias philodice
Family Pieridae - Whites and Sulphurs / Subfamily: Coliadinae - Sulphurs
Live adult butterflies photographed at DuPage County, Illinois, USA.
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Clouded Sulphur Male nectaring on red clover near Chicago
The Common Sulphur Butterfly is popularly known as the Clouded Sulphur. These butterflies are known to hybridize with the Orange Sulphur, and specimens are very difficult to tell apart. The Illinois Butterfly Monitor Network treats these as one species for counting purposes.

Habitat: Meadows and fields; almost any open spaces, parks and pastures. Flight: Several broods March to December in south.
Range: North America except most of Florida. Life Cycle: Eggs are chartreuse, laid singly on various legumes, especially clovers (Trifolium). Caterpillar bright green with darker stripe on back, lighter green stripe on side. Green chrysalis overwinters. These butterflies are some of the most abundant here in the American midwest. Sometimes they outnumber even the Cabbage White Butterfly.

I have seen these butterflies active as late as mid-November in northern Illinois

Common or Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

  1., Clouded Sulphur Butterfly
  2. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects & Spiders (North America), Chanticleer Press 1980
  3. Eric Eaton & Ken Kaufman, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Hillstar Editions 2007
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Order Lepidoptera, which contains both butterflies and moths, includes at least 125,000 known species including 12,000 in North America. Butterflies are revered for their brightly colored wings and pleasing association with fair weather and flowers.
Learn to identify many of the American Midwest's common species through descriptions and large diagnostic photos of live, wild specimens.
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