Floridata Article

Barred Sulphur (Eurema daira)

Barred Sulphur
Summer Form
Barred Sulphur
Winter Form
Habitat: Throughout the Deep South from Texas to South Carolina; occasionally strays further north. Garden Abundance: Common Wingspan: 1.3 - 1.8 in Larval Host Plants: Pencil flower (Stylosanthes biflora, S. hamata) and joint vetch (Aeschnomene Americana, A. viscidula) Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: shepherd's needles (Bidens alba), joint vetch, indigo bush (Indigofera spicata), frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora), and purpletop verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

The barred sulphur is a common butterfly found in weedy areas throughout much of the Deep South. It is particularly abundant in late summer and early fall. The barred sulphur comes in distinctly different looking seasonal forms that are determined by the environmental conditions under which the larvae develop. Long days and warm temperatures result in summer form adults that have almost pure white wings beneath. Males have light yellow colored wings with black borders above and a black bar along the lower edge of the forewing (its namesake). Females are pale yellow to white above with muted black markings. Winter form adults have brown to brick red colored wings with numerous markings beneath, and are darker yellow above. Winter forms can be found from November to March; they survive through the coldest weather as adults in a state of reproductive dormancy.

The small, white, spindle shaped eggs are deposited singly on the leaves or flowers of the host plant. The plain green caterpillars feed exposed on the leaves and develop rapidly. The pupae may be green, green with black markings, or black. Numerous generations are produced each year.

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