Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Harford's Sulphur
Colias harfordii Hy. Edwards, 1877

Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Coliadinae
Identification: Upper surface of male a rich yellow, wing bases not darkened. Cell spot in front wing is medium-sized and black, often with a white center. Forewing border wide, hindwing border narrower. Cell spot in hindwing not noticeable. Female resembles male but border less well-defined, in some cases reduced or lacking.
Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 2 inches (4.4 - 5.1 cm).
Life History: Males patrol open areas to find receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on the underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars eat leaves. Larvae hibernate.
Flight: Two flights from February-May and from June-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Rattleweed (Astragalus douglasii) in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult Food: Flower nectar from thistles and mints.
Habitat: Open chaparral and woodland clearings.
Range: Southern California coastal ranges and canyons from Kern County south to San Diego County.
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.
Comments: NULL