www.zinnysworld.com       Copyright 2000-2017 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Cloudless Sulphur     Phoebis sennae

Although considered a medium-sized butterfly, having a wing span of about two inches, the Cloudless Sulphur is considered one of the “giant” sulphurs, and is one of the most common and widespread of the giant sulphurs.  It is common in the southeastern United States and southward to the Tropical Americas.  During the summer months, they migrate northward, sometimes reaching Canada.  During the fall, there is a massive migration southward, many heading to and stopping in the central and southern Florida peninsula.

These butterflies are easily recognized by their lemon-yellow color.  The undersides are often pale yellow and marked with reddish-brown spots in the fall and winter generations.  Females have a narrow black band along the edge and a black spot near the center of the upper surface of the forewings.  The undersides have small silvery spots.

They prefer to nectar on red flowers.  However, the host plants for the caterpillars are the herbs and shrubs of the Bean family (Cassia species). Several generations are produced each year.  In Florida, adults can be seen every month of the year, but they are most abundant from August-November during the southward migration.

The photos on this page were taken in Lee County and Polk County.