Clouded Sulfur Butterfly

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Clouded Sulfur Butterfly.jpg

Found commonly throughout Ohio, the clouded sulfur butterfly (Colias philodice) is found in various habitats that include fields, lawns, alfalfa and clover fields, roadsides and meadows.

The upper sides of the wings of male clouded sulfur, also known as the common sulfur, butterflies are clear yellow with solid black edges. There are some dark spots on the sub margins of the lower side of the fore wings. Hind wings have a silver spot with doubled, orangeish-pink rim. Females can be one of two colors: yellow with uneven black edging around yellow spots, or a greenish-white color with the same markings.

Females lay their eggs, one at a time, on a host plant. Host plants include red or white clover and perhaps legumes. Once the caterpillars hatch, they will feed on the leaves. Third-stage caterpillars will hibernate. Upon maturity adults will have a wingspan of one and a half to two and three-quarter inches. Their flight period is from May to October, at which time they will feed on nectar from a variety of plants, including alfalfa, clover, dandelion, milkweed, sunflower and asters.

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