Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Shy Yellow
Pyrisitia messalina (Fabricius, 1787)


Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Coliadinae
Identification: Both sexes creamy white. Males with black borders on outer edges of both wings; female with black apex. Male has pink bar on underside of forewing that fades after death.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/2 inches (2.6 - 3.8 cm).
Life History: Females lay single eggs on top of host plant leaves.
Flight: Most common in May-August; February.
Caterpillar Hosts: Tick trefoils (Desmodium) and Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Shady, brushy areas.
Range: Resident in West Indies; very rare stray in southern Florida.
Conservation: None 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.