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Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

Orange Sulphur
Habitat: Open, sunny locations including roadsides, meadows, and agricultural fields Garden Abundance: Common Wingspan: 1.4 to 2.75 in Range: Throughout most of the United States, southern Canada and northern Mexico Larval Host Plants: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), and various clovers (Trifolium spp. and Melilotus spp.) Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), sedum (Sedum spectable), and milkweed (Asclepias spp.)

The orange sulphur is one of the most abundant butterflies in North America and one that you're likely to see in your neighborhood. Males are butter yellow above with a distinct orange tinge and black wing borders. Females may be either yellow or white and have a paler black wing border broken by irregular yellow patches. There is a distinct orange spot in the center of each hindwing surface. Adults rest and feed with wings closed. Males commonly puddle (hang out together drinking) at damp ground.

Females deposit the elongate eggs singly on the upper surfaces of leaves of the host plants. The mature larva is green with pale cream and pink longitudinal stripes. The larvae feed exposed on the host plant and are easily spotted. The green chrysalis overwinters. Numerous generations are produced each year.

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