Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Queen Alexandra's Sulphur
Colias alexandra W.H. Edwards, 1863

Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Coliadinae
Identification: Upper surface of male bright yellow with pale yellow at wing bases; wings edged by narrow black border crossed by yellow veins; cell spot small. Female yellow, sometimes white, with forewing border faded or absent. Underside of hindwing of both sexes green-gray; cell spot white with no surrounding ring.
Wing Span: 1 5/8 - 2 1/4 inches (4.2 - 5.7 cm).
Life History: Males patrol open areas for females. Eggs are laid singly on top of host plant leaves, which the caterpillars eat. Late-stage caterpillars overwinter.
Flight: One flight from May-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various plants in the pea family (Fabaceae) including milk vetch (Astragalus), Lupines (Lupinus), and clover (Trifolium) species.
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including blanket flower, milk vetches, and others.
Habitat: Road edges, fields, meadows, sagebrush flats.
Range: British Columbia south and east to eastern California, Arizona and New Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Not reported.
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