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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Phoebis sennae
     Cloudless Sulphur

male upperside
male underside
female upperside
female underside

Size: wingspread 2-2.5 in.
Recognition: Large; male bright yellow; female either yellow or white with irregular dark edges, with black spot on upper FW.
Flight period: Adults are active from March to January, when warm weather permits.
Hostplants: The larvae of the Cloudles Sulphur feed on Cassia (Fabaceae), which grows only as an ornamental in our area.
Habitat: Found in coastal and urban areas, such as Santa Barbara, as well as in desert areas.
Distribution: Found in subtropical to tropical areas of the southern U.S. through Mexico to South America.
Other: This is a rather common and abundant sulphur around Santa Barbara, especially near the end of summer as it migrates from more southern locales. Look for this distinctive sulphur flying around streets, parks, and various other urban habitats. It has a strongly directed flight and is usually seen flying near its host plant.

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