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clouded sulphur

clouded sulphur (Colias philodice)

Features and Behaviors

The wingspan of the clouded sulphur is about one and one-half to two and one-half inches. The upperside of the male’s wings is yellow to green-yellow with a black border. The upperside of the female’s wings is yellow or cream with a black border. The black border on the female’s wings has spots the same color as the main portion of the wing. The coloration on the underside of the wings is the same as the main color of the upperside. The underside of the hindwing shows a silver spot surrounded by a red ring.

This species can be seen statewide in open areas. Individuals can often be seen in clusters around water puddles. The adult eats nectar. The larvae feed on legumes, especially clover. Adults are present from March to November. Several generations are produced annually. The overwintering stage is the chrysalis.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pieridae

Illinois Status: common, native