Photo by Melody

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Pieridae (pee-AIR-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Phoebis
Species: sennae


4 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Barling, Arkansas
Deer, Arkansas
Marion, Arkansas
Boca Raton, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lutz, Florida (2 reports)
Palm Coast, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Tampa, Florida (2 reports)
Winter Springs, Florida
Cornelia, Georgia
Anna, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Yale, Iowa
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Hammond, Louisiana
Tupelo, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska
Concord, North Carolina
Waynesville, North Carolina
Corning, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Kellyville, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Keller, Texas
Los Fresnos, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Portland, Texas
Spring, Texas
Stafford, Texas

By Magpye
Thumbnail #1 of Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) by Magpye

By okus

Thumbnail #2 of Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) by okus

By aprilwillis

Thumbnail #3 of Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) by aprilwillis

By aprilwillis

Thumbnail #4 of Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) by aprilwillis

By aprilwillis

Thumbnail #5 of Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) by aprilwillis

By Magpye

Thumbnail #6 of Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) by Magpye

By dmj1218

Thumbnail #7 of Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) by dmj1218

There are a total of 47 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Member Notes:

Neutral okus On Jul 25, 2006, okus from
(Zone 8b) wrote:

Aslo known as the Cloudless Giant Sulphur

Positive aprilwillis On Jul 31, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX
(Zone 9a) wrote:

These guys pretty much stay on my cassia alata, their host plant. They don't do all that much damage and are really lovely butterflies!

Neutral Magpye 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.

Positive nick89 On Mar 15, 2007, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL
(Zone 8b) wrote:

Huge yellow butterflies that are very common. They can be seen year-around in northern Florida, even coming out on warmer winter days.

Positive SusanLouise 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!

Positive steadycam3 On Jan 16, 2011, steadycam3 from Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a) wrote:

In Texas, I have observed the sulphurs nectaring on the abundant wild cedar sage.

Neutral C_A_Ivy On Dec 30, 2013, C_A_Ivy from Barling, AR
(Zone 7b) wrote:

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.

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