Apricot Sulphur (Phoebis argante [Fabricius])
Wing span: 2 1/8 - 2 5/8 inches (5.4 - 6.7 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male bright orange with black border on forewing. Females variable from white to yellow, with dark or faded black borders. Underside hindwing of both sexes with broken, angled submarginal line.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on new leaves of host, with many eggs placed on each plant.
Flight: All year in Central and South America. Strays to Texas from June-October.
Caterpillar hosts: Shrubs and trees in the pea family (Fabaceae) including Cassia, Pentaclethra, and Inga species.
Adult food: Nectar from a variety of red flowers.
Habitat: Disturbed areas in tropical forests: clearings, gardens, pastures, road edges.
Range: Paraguay north to Mexico. Reported very rarely (twice) in southern Texas and western Kansas.
Conservation: Not required for rare stray.
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 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.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.