Orange Sulphur

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

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Click on the common name to obtain additional information from the Butterflies and Moths of North America web page. BugGuide is another web resource.

Legend:

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




Orange Sulphur (1.3–2.75") Common/Abundant: L-Apr thru E-Nov Open fields, alfalfa fields Red clover Clovers & vetches
Orange Sulphur

Pale and small
April 6, 2014
Gateway Business Park
Linda Hunt

Orange Sulphur (male)

Male
April 27, 2014
Elkhorn Gardens
Linda Hunt

Orange Sulphur (male)

Male
June 2, 2012
UMDCF
Bonnie Ott

Orange Sulphur (male)

Male
September 8, 2006
Centennial Park
June Tveekrem

Orange Sulphur (male)


September 17, 2016
Patuxent Branch Trail
Paul Petkus

Orange Sulphur (female)

Female (unusual)
April 22, 2013
Meadowbrook Park
Kathy Litzinger

Orange Sulphur (female)

Female
July 6, 2012
Ellicott City
Kathy Litzinger

Orange Sulphur (female)

Female
August 19, 2016
Western Regional Park
Bill Hill

Orange Sulphur

In clutches of crab spider
September 8, 2013
Western Regional Park
Annette Allor

Orange Sulphur (female)

Female
September 15, 2009
Mount Pleasant
Scott Berglund

Orange Sulphurs (mating)

Male & Female
July 7, 2015
Robinson Nature Center
Linda Hunt

Orange Sulphur (female)

Male & Female
July 20, 2014
Clark Farm
Sue Probst

Orange Sulphur

Male & Female
July 20, 2014
October 16, 2013
Patuxent Branch Trail
Linda Hunt

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