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Cloudless Sulphur (female)
Cloudless Sulphur (male)

Photos © Kim Hosen; suburban backyard, Hilton Head Island, SC; October 2010

Top - female
Lower left - male

Cloudless Sulphur
Phoebis Sennae
Wingspan: 2¼ - 3 inches; larger than a Clouded Sulphur

This large butterfly has one flight in late summer/early fall. Look for Cloudless Sulphurs fluttering around parks, gardens, and the edges of roads or beaches.

The male is a particularly dizzying flyer. As he searches for females, his yellow wings seemingly capturing the sunshine.

Males have faint markings on their wings while those on females are stronger. Females have a dark edging along the upperside of their forewing that males lack.

Clouded Sulphurs prefer flowers with long tubes such as the cordial, bougainvillea, and morning glory amongst others.

Females lay their eggs singly on young leaves or flower buds of sennas and partridge pea.

The caterpillar spends its time munching on leaves or resting between munches on the underside of the leaf. Its bright green coloring with black dots all down its back makes for excellent camouflage from predators.