North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Kentucky

Lyside Sulphur (Kricogonia lyside)
JPG -- species photo

Lyside Sulphur (Kricogonia lyside [Godart])

Wing span: 1 1/2 - 2 3/8 inches (3.8 - 6 cm).

Identification: Tip of forewing square-shaped. Upperside forewing of male white with yellow basal area; often with vertical black bar at wing edge. Underside of hindwing has raised veins and satin sheen. Females occur in both yellow and white forms. Both sexes are extremely variable.

Life history: Caterpillars hide in bark crevices during the day, and come out to feed at night. Adults periodically make huge migrations.

Flight: Throughout the year in South Texas, April-August in Florida and to the north and east.

Caterpillar hosts: Plants in the Zygophyllaceae family: Lignum vitae (Guaiacum sanctum) in southern Florida and Porliera angustifolia in Texas.

Adult food: Flowers of black mangrove and shepherd's needle have been used as nectar sources in southern Florida.

Habitat: Tropical scrub lowlands and seasonally dry forests.

Range: Venezuela north to southern Texas, where it occurs in great numbers. Rare in southern Florida; strays to Colorado, Nebraska, Kentucky, and other states.

Conservation: Not usually required.

Management needs: None reported.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


DeVries, P. J. 1987. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their  natural 
     history. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New  Jersey. 327 
     pages, 50 color plates.

Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the  Great Plains. 
     Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates.

Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern  butterflies. 
     Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co.,  Boston. 396 pages, 
     48 color plates.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford  University 
     Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin 
     Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Covell, Charles.  1998.  The Butterflies and Moths (Lepidoptera) of Kentucky: 
     an Annotated Checklist.  Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, 
     Frankfort, KY.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp.
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.      
Lyside Sulphur (Kricogonia lyside)
distribution map
map legend

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