Family: PIERIDAE (Whites and Sulphurs)
The genus name Phoebis comes from the Greek phiobos meaning "pure" or "radiant," and the species name most likely refers to one of the butterfly's host plants, Senna (Cassia sp.).
The male Cloudless Sulphur is a lovely, solid-yellow butterfly with a wingspan of about 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 inches. The female can be yellow or white and has a brownish-black border. Both sexes have two small silver spots on the underside of their hindwings. Larvae are yellow with horizontal brownish stripes.
Range and Habitat
The Cloudless Sulphur ranges throughout Southern California and the Southwest, east through the southern United States and south into Baja California and northern Mexico.
Like most sulphurs, this butterfly rarely perches with open wings. Males favor rapid flight and constantly patrol for receptive mates. Females lay eggs singly on the leaves or buds of host plants on which caterpillars later feed. Cloudless Sulphurs hibernate as pupae. Adults fly from April through May in California, though they may have many flights year-round in the southeastern United States.
Related or Similar Species