On Aug 16, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:
Wing span: 2 1/4 - 3 1/8 inches (5.7 - 8 cm).
Identification: Upper surface of male is lemon yellow with no markings. Female is yellow or white; outer edges of both wings with irregular black borders; upper forewing with dark spot in cell. Lower surface of hindwing of both sexes with 2 pink-edged silver spots.
Life history: Males patrol with rapid flight, searching for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on young leaves or flower buds of host plants; caterpillars eat leaves and rest on underside of leaf petioles.
Flight: Many flights year around in the Deep South; may have one flight in late summer in other southern states; immigrants to northern states in August or September usually do not reproduce.
Caterpillar hosts: Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from many different flowers with long tubes including cordia, bougainvilla, cardinal flower, hibiscus, lantana, and wild morning glory.
Habitat: Disturbed open areas including parks, yards, gardens, beaches, road edges, abandoned fields, scrub.
Range: Permanent resident from Argentina north to southern Texas and the Deep South. Regular visitor and occasional colonist in most of the eastern United States and the Southwest.
On Jan 28, 2009, SusanLouise from Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:
This is my favorite butterfly...a bright neon lemon-lime light fluttering in our gardens just brightened my days. We only had one last year...and it stayed til November 4th, just before our hard freeze. This year I'm getting a Cassia 'hebecarpa' plant to make sure we have many more this year!
On Dec 30, 2013, C_A_Ivy from Barling, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:
YELLOW VS. GREEN CATS
Caterpillars are either green or yellow. The green version is from eating the leaves of the host plant whereas the yellow larva occurs when the caterpillar consumes the yellow flower buds of the host plant.