Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Orange-barred Sulphur
Phoebis philea (Linnaeus, 1763)


Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Coliadinae
Identification: Upperside of male bright yellow-orange; forewing has red-orange bar and hindwing has red-orange outer margin. The two forms of the female, one off-white and the other yellow-orange, are much larger than the male. Both have upperside of forewing with solid black cell spot and a submarginal row of broken, angled black smudges. Outer half of hindwing of yellow form is red-orange.
Wing Span: 2 3/4 - 4 inches (7 - 10.2 cm).
Life History: Swift, high fliers. Females lay single eggs on leaves and flowers of host plants; caterpillars prefer to feed on the flowers. Development is continous in the wet season.
Flight: Two-three flights in Florida, one in northern range from mid-late summer.
Caterpillar Hosts: Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult Food: Nectar from many different flowers.
Habitat: Open lowland sites such as gardens, forest edges, parks, road edges.
Range: Resident from Brazil north to peninsular Florida and the Keys. Irregular wanderer to south Texas; extremely rare vagrant in Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Connecticut.
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