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Butterflies of Missouri -- Phoebis agarithe

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Missouri

Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe)
JPG -- species photo

Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe [Boisduval])

Wing span: 2 1/4 - 3 3/8 inches (5.7 - 8.6 cm).

Identification: Upper surface of male bright orange with no markings. Two female forms, pink-white or yellow-orange. Underside forewing of both sexes with straight submarginal line. Two seasonal forms; winter form has heavier underside markings.

Life history: Caterpillars eat new leaves.

Flight: All year in south Texas and south Florida, strays north in mid- to late summer.

Caterpillar hosts: Pithecellobium and Inga species in the pea family (Fabaceae).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers of lantana, shepherd's needle, bougainvilla, rose periwinkle, turk's cap, and hibiscus.

Habitat: Open, tropical lowlands including gardens, pastures, road edges, trails, parks.

Range: Peru north to southern Texas and peninsular Florida. Rare stray to Colorado, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and New Jersey.

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.

References:

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:

Heitzman, J.R. and Heitzman, J.E.  1987.  Butterflies and Moths of Missouri.
     Missouri Dept. of Conservation.  Jefferson City, MO.  385 pp. 

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.     
Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe)
distribution map
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