Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Large Orange Sulphur
Phoebis agarithe (Boisduval, 1836)


Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Coliadinae
Identification: Upper surface of male bright orange with no markings. Two female forms, pink-white or yellow-orange. Underside forewing of both sexes with straight submarginal line. Two seasonal forms; winter form has heavier underside markings.
Wing Span: 2 1/4 - 3 3/8 inches (5.7 - 8.6 cm).
Life History: Caterpillars eat new leaves.
Flight: All year in south Texas and south Florida, strays north in mid- to late summer.
Caterpillar Hosts: Pithecellobium and Inga species in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of lantana, shepherd\'s needle, bougainvilla, rose periwinkle, turk's cap, and hibiscus.
Habitat: Open, tropical lowlands including gardens, pastures, road edges, trails, parks.
Range: Peru north to southern Texas and peninsular Florida. Rare stray to Colorado, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and New Jersey.
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: None reported.
Comments: NULL

Pollinator Week is June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.