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Clouded Sulphur Butterfly is probably the most common butterfly found in northern part of the United States.
Clouded Sulphur Butterfly
Clouded Sulphur Butterfly Wingspan 1.4-2.0 inches. Both sexes have greenish-yellow wings in spring and fall, and mostly yellow in midsummer; wings always with blackish borders. Females with pale spots in border areas. Both sexes also have a black dot in the forewing cell and an orange dot in the hindwing cell. Occasionally, females are white rather than yellow.
Clouded Sulphur Butterfly undergo complete metamorphosis and are well known for their larvae being caterpillars, which often are larger in mass and have a different feeding habit than the winged adults. Adults use their proboscis to eat nectar, while caterpillars feed on leaves with other mouthparts. Clouded Sulphur Butterfly larvae form simple pupae that are cocoon-like, while others including butterflies form more elaborate pupae known as chyrsalids. Winged adults emerge out of these pupae
Life Cycle: Clouded Sulphurs can be seen from March to September. There are several broods each year.After mating, female sulphurs lay eggs, one at a time, on leaves of host plants. Host plants are food for caterpillars. Some host plants of Clouded Sulphurs include clovers and Black Locust. Clouded Sulphurs caterpillars (larvae) hatch, they begin eating the plants right away.
Clouded Sulphur caterpillars are bright green with a dark back stripe and two light side stripes. Clouded Sulphurs caterpillars are fully grown, they form a chrysalis (pupa, or resting, stage). The adult butterfly comes out of the pupa.Any chrysalids that are around when the weather gets cold will overwinter, and the butterflies will emerge in early Spring.
Clouded Sulphur Butterfly
Clouded Sulphur Butterfly species is most abundant in hay fields, especially with abundant alfalfa and clover. At times they can easily be seen along the roadsides adjacent to the hayfields which seem to be alive with these butterflies, somewhat like fireflies in the night, as the yellow of their upper wings shines in the sunlight.
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