On Aug 16, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:
Wing span: 2 3/4 - 4 inches (7 - 10.2 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male bright yellow-orange; forewing has red-orange bar and hindwing has red-orange outer margin. The two forms of the female, one off-white and the other yellow-orange, are much larger than the male. Both have upperside of forewing with solid black cell spot and a submarginal row of broken, angled black smudges. Outer half of hindwing of yellow form is red-orange.
Life history: Swift, high fliers. Females lay single eggs on leaves and flowers of host plants; caterpillars prefer to feed on the flowers. Development is continous in the wet season.
Flight: Two-three flights in Florida, one in northern range from mid-late summer.
Caterpillar hosts: Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from many different flowers.
Habitat: Open lowland sites such as gardens, forest edges, parks, road edges.
Range: Resident from Brazil north to peninsular Florida and the Keys. Irregular wanderer to south Texas; extremely rare vagrant in Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Connecticut.
Have become convinced that this is the Orange-Barred Sulphur. They are evidently now resident in Houston, TX.
Earlier confusion caused by both Orange-Barred and Orange Giant nectaring, laying eggs and emerging on same senna / cassia bush. The one pictured was allowed to emerge indoors, then released, as shown.
Further to the above, have again confirmed the Orange-Barred Sulphur here in Houston, laying eggs on same bush as in 2006. Most butterfly books show this butterfly as being basically limited to Southern Florida.