Fun Clouded Sulphur Butterfly Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Clouded Sulphur Butterfly Facts For Kids

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The clouded sulphur (Colias philodice) or the common sulphur is native to the region of North America. The North American areas include places like Texas, eastern and western Canada, Florida, plains of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, and California. The habitat of clouded sulphurs is generally slotted near nectar plants which are found in suburban areas. The suburban areas include few agricultural fields. Along with the fields, this yellow butterfly species is found in the wet lawns amidst alfalfa or in white clover meadows. These lawns and meadows include the plants with nectar on which this yellow species feed on. During the process of reproduction, sterile lady butterflies are sometimes born when there is a hybridization between orange and clouded sulphurs. When a male orange sulphur and a female clouded butterfly mate, however, it leads to the birth of feasible young. In the case of the young, when the eggs hatch the larvae are spotted to be green. The entire body is green along with a few darker stripes along the length of the body. Lighter stripes can be seen on the sides of the larvae.

For more relatable content, check out these fairy moth facts and ailanthus webworm moth facts for kids.

Fun Clouded Sulphur Butterfly Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

Wingspan: 0.9-1.3 in (2.2-3.2 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Yellow, brown, black, and white

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them?

Bushy Lawns, Alfalfa Or Clover Fields, And Meadows


North America









Clouded Sulphur Butterfly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a clouded sulphur butterfly?

The clouded sulphur (Colias philodice) butterfly is a butterfly by nature. These species belong to the Arthropoda phylum.

What class of animal does a clouded sulphur butterfly belong to?

The clouded sulphur (Colias philodice) butterfly belongs to the Insecta class of animals. They belong to the Animalia kingdom and are members of the Pieridae family.

How many clouded sulphur butterflies are there in the world?

These butterflies are not listed under any category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Hence, the exact number of individuals currently residing on the planet is not known as of now.

Where does a clouded sulphur butterfly live?

Clouded sulphur butterfly distribution is noticed in the regions of North America where cabbage white butterflies are also found. This includes the Nearctic region which extends from the southern Arctic towards Guatemala. However, very few clouded sulphurs are found in the northern parts of British Columbia and in the tundra region of the Alaskan range.

What is a clouded sulphur butterfly's habitat?

The clouded sulphur butterfly habitat includes areas with moist places. The range of the habitat of a clouded sulphur butterfly includes meadows and fields. They are most comfortable residing within the temperate zone consisting of open areas. These open areas include grasslands as well.

Who do clouded sulphur butterflies live with?

These yellow species are mostly found pondering over mud puddles. During this time, they are spotted in groups. During the mating season, the species is spotted in groups or pairs.

How long does a clouded sulphur butterfly live?

These sulphurs are known to have a very short life. The clouded sulphur butterfly life can range up to two to three days from birth. Although in Colorado a butterfly was recorded to live up to 14 days. The females have a shorter lifespan than the male butterflies on average.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction process of these sulphurs is quite different from other butterflies. In this case, the male approaches the female in order to mate. The female is found on the ground while a male rubs its wings on the female's body, leading to the release of a specific chemical. This chemical is supposedly created towards the upper portion of the wing within a gland. During this act, if the female can identify the pheromone then they are ready to mate. When the pheromones release the female's responses, it leads to the mutual mating process of the pair. In a few cases, the female also fly towards the male in order to mate. The female lays the egg individually on the leaves of the host plant. It takes around five days on average for the eggs to hatch. Initially, the eggs are of yellow color but develop into a shade of crimson.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), these yellow species are not listed under any category. Their conservation status is Not Evaluated.

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly Fun Facts

What do clouded sulphur butterflies look like?

The clouded sulphur (Colias philodice) butterflies are extremely prominent by their external appearances. The male can be easily identified by the solid black border on the upper side of the wings whereas the females are found to have few yellow spots over the black border. Since the landing of the butterflies occurs with their wings closed, it becomes quite difficult to get a vivid view of their body. Beneath the wings, the male has a yellow shade while a greenish color is found in the case of the females. The females have a few darker yellow spots beneath the wings as well.

Clouded sulphurs restrict themselves from living within dense forests.

How cute are they?

Needless to say, these yellow butterflies from North America are extremely cute in appearance. The bright yellow color and the prominent spots give them a vibrant look. This vibrant yellow and orange coloration often makes them a delight to the eyes of the visitor.

How do they communicate?

These butterflies are sometimes noticed to be communicating by exhibiting visual acts to grab attention. Releasing pheromones is the most common way of communication among butterflies.

How big is a clouded sulphur butterfly?

These species have an average wingspan of around 0.9-1.3 in (2.2-3.2 cm). They are somewhat smaller than a monarch butterfly which has an average wingspan of around 3.1-4 in (1.2-1.6 cm).

How fast can clouded sulphur butterflies fly?

Considering that these sulphurs are found within 3.2 ft (1 m) from the ground, their flights are mostly rapid and unpredictable in nature.

How much does a clouded sulphur butterfly weigh?

Clouded sulphur butterfly size has not been exactly documented yet. However, it is a very small and lightweight creature.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name assigned to the male and the female members of the species. They are generally referred to as the sexes that the individuals belong to.

What would you call a baby clouded sulphur butterfly?

A baby sulphur or these little yellow butterflies are usually called larvae and then pupae.

What do they eat?

The clouded sulphur butterfly diet primarily includes the nectars from the nectar plants found in the valleys and the meadows of the North American regions it inhabits such as alfalfa, clovers, teasel, and more.

Are they dangerous?

There is no information regarding sulphurs being poisonous or in any way dangerous to humans and in fact, to any creatures whatsoever.

Would they make a good pet?

Considering the fact that these butterflies are creatures of the wild, they are not known to be great pets to humans. Although few of these species are kept under surveillance by research institutes in order to study them.

Did you know...

Female clouded sulphurs must be more than an hour of age in order to identify and distinguish between the chemical released by clouded sulphurs or orange sulphurs.

It is believed that these yellow butterflies ponder over the water bodies only to look for salt and minerals in them.

Clouded sulphur vs orange sulphur

The major difference between the clouded sulphur and the orange sulphur is the color shade of their bodies. The wings of clouded sulphurs are mainly lemon yellow whereas the orange sulphur has an orangish hue on their wings.

Do clouded sulphurs migrate?

Yes, clouded sulphurs are migratory by nature. These yellow creatures are known to migrate at least once a year.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our gatekeeper interesting facts and buck moth surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable butterfly mandala coloring pages

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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