Butterflies of North Carolina

Common Name begins with:
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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in PIERIDAE:
comNameOrange Sulphur by Randy Newman => Fort Macon State Park, 2003-07-26
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[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
sciNameColias eurytheme
Link to BAMONA species account.
mapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
distributionDISTRIBUTION: Statewide; undoubtedly occurs in all 100 counties in NC.
abundanceABUNDANCE: Declining. Fairly common to common in the mountains and upper Piedmont; may be abundant in a few areas (such as some mountain meadows). Mostly fairly common (at least locally) in the Piedmont, and uncommon in the Coastal Plain (now). It has greatly declined in NC in the past 15 years and can be uncommon now in some counties in the Piedmont and mountains.
flightFLIGHT PERIOD: Several broods, probably four or five; mainly from early March to late November, with scattered records in December, January, and February. The species has no gaps in the flight periods in the three provinces in NC.
habitatHABITAT: Open country, usually in cultivated areas. Most common in cultivated fields with alfalfa or other legumes; dozens may also be seen flying over fields and meadows. Also seen along woodland borders, gardens, etc. It is not found in the shade of forests.
plantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Foodplants are legumes such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and clovers (Trifolium spp.). The species nectars on a wide variety of plants, particularly in croplands with flowers -- alfalfa, red clover, white clover, etc.
commentsCOMMENTS: Identification of this species versus Clouded Sulphur is often difficult. However, this species certainly outnumbers the Clouded over nearly all of the state, especially in the Coastal Plain and most of the Piedmont. The historic range of this species in North America is uncertain, but it spread in range and in numbers with the increase in croplands in the East. Despite its numbers in NC, it is usually far outnumbered in most of the Coastal Plain, especially from July onward, by the Sleepy Orange and the Cloudless Sulphur.

Numbers were severely curtailed over much of the state by cold, wet weather in spring 1999, and populations were slow to recover in 1999-2000. A drought lasting at least four years, and the continued loss of farmland to development, has sent numbers tumbling recently. Some Fourth of July counts are now having difficulty in finding this species, even in areas where formerly numerous 15 years ago.
state_statusS5
fed_statusG5
synonym
other_nameAlfalfa Butterfly
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page_num16

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Orange Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Tom Sanders
Comment: 8/15/2010 at Rural Hill, Mecklenburg County
Orange Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Salman Abdulali
Comment: female, River Park North, Pitt County, 2007-11-01
Orange Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: female, Sep 20, 2012, Dinkins Bottoms, Yadkin County
Orange Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: male, Jun 11, 2013, Madison County
Orange Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: Jun 11, 2013, Madison County
Orange Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: female, Sep 27, 2014, Pilot Mountain State Park, Surry County
Orange Sulphur - Click to enlarge