Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Mead's Sulphur
Colias meadii W.H. Edwards, 1871

Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Coliadinae
Identification: Upperside of male deep reddish orange with wide, dull black border; female lighter orange, border containing orange spots. Underside of both sexes greenish-yellow, with hindwing white spot circled in red.
Wing Span: 1 1/2 - 2 inches (3.8 - 5.1 cm).
Life History: Males patrol open tundra for females. Females lay eggs singly on host plant leaves, which are then eaten by the caterpillars. Third-stage caterpillars overwinter.
Flight: One flight from July-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the pea family (Fabaceae) including clover (Trifolium) and Astragalus species.
Adult Food: Flower nectar including alpine sunflower and asters.
Habitat: At or near treeline in high mountains, tundra, subalpine meadows.
Range: Restricted to the Rocky Mountains from Alberta south to Colorado.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Not reported.
Comments: NULL