Clouded Sulphur

Place name abbreviations: MPEA - Middle Patuxent Environment Area; PRSP - Patuxent River State Park; PVSP - Patapsco River Valley State Park.

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Legend:

Common name [Link is to BAMONA] (wingspan range in inches) Occurrence level & flight period.
Habitat. Typically visits (for nectaring). Larval host plants.


Clouded Sulphur (1.5–2.75") Common: E-Apr thru E-Nov Open woods, clover fields Clover blossoms Clovers
Clouded Sulphur (male)

May 25, 2012
Patuxent Branch Trail
Annette Allor

Clouded Sulphur (male)

Male
July 2, 2010
Larriland Farm
Richard Orr

Clouded Sulphur (white form female)

July 16, 2016
Belmont
Sue Probst

Clouded Sulphur (white form female)

White form female
July 5, 2014
Belmont
Sue Probst

Clouded Sulphur (white form female)

White form female
September 19, 2009
Rockburn Branch Park
Bonnie Ott

Clouded Sulphur (male)

Male
September 19, 2010
Ellicott City
Bonnie Ott

Clouded Sulphur (white form female)

White form female
September 7, 2012
Ellicott City
Kathy Litzinger

All medium-sized sulphurs have a pink-edge on forewing and hindwing. It is more noticeable on some specimens than others.

Sulphurs puddling

September 22, 2011
Kathy Litzinger
Centennial Park

Orange and Clouded Sulphurs "puddling" to absorb minerals. This behavior is popular among most of the White and Sulphur species.

Which species is this white female?

There is no foolproof way to tell all of the sulphur white females apart. From pairings I've seen in the field, the Orange white females usually have more dark scaling in the white, broader wing borders (with of course white patches in the border), AND the yellow-orange spot in the center of the dorsal HW is heavy orange rather than yellow (yes, I know, this spot is never exposed while perching - I've made these conclusions from net-release specimens handled with forceps). The male-attracted-to-female tactic is not foolproof because these sulphurs are known to occasionally hybridize. In fact, the ones with minimal orange flushes actually may all be hybrids. Many lepidopterists lump the hybrids in with Orange Sulphurs because the Clouded Sulphur is our true native sulphur, whereas the Orange Sulphur invaded the U.S. from Mexico in the 19th century, partly because so many farmers were using alfalfa and red clover, their main hosts, as cattle forage crops.—Dick Smith