Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Generally statewide and common in NC, this is another Southern migrant occurring more commonly after mid-summer. However, some larvae overwinter so this is also a breeding species in NC. Cloudless Sulphurs are particularly fond of red and purple flowers of many different species.

Cloudless Sulphurs always perch with their wings closed. To see the upper surface of the wings, scroll down to the bottom of this page. I took a few photos of Cloudless Sulphurs in flight with a very fast shutter speed (1/2000th of a second) to freeze them in flight. The photos are a bit blurry & grainy, but notice there's no black on the upper wings.


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
New Hanover Co., NC
27 Aug 2005

This Cloudless Sulphur just emerged from its chrsalis hours earlier and has yet to take its first flight!


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Durham Division, Duke Forest, Orange Co., NC
18 Aug 2013

Mated pair. Photo rotated 90 deg counterclockwise.


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Cloudless Sulphur caterpillars feed on Sennas in the pea family (Cassia spp.)

New Hanover Co., NC
27 Aug 2005

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) males "puddling"
Craven Co., NC
28 Aug 2005

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Scotland Co., NC
1 Oct 2006

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Brunswick Co., NC
4 Oct 2008

Nectaring on Tall Mourning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea).


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae), Male
New Hanover Co., NC
28 August 2004
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae), Male
New Hanover Co., NC
28 August 2004

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae), Female
Craven Co., NC
29 August 2004
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae), Female
Brunswick Co., NC
4 September 2004

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Orange Co., NC
3 Oct 2004
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Craven Co., NC
28 Aug 2005

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) These individuals are in mid-flight, offering an opportunity to view the upperwings of Cloudless Sulphurs.
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Dare Co, NC
2 Oct 2005
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Dare Co, NC
2 Oct 2005

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule)

This Cloudless Sulphur was photographed in flight during the downstroke of the wings. Note how high it carries its abdomen at this point in flight.

Dare Co, NC
2 Oct 2005

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Dare Co, NC
2 Oct 2005

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule)

This runt Cloudless Sulphur was about the same size as a Sleepy Orange and was the smallest one I've ever seen. Apparently, moisture conditions and temperature can affect size development of the larvae & pupae & and therefore adults.

Chatham Co., NC
24 Sep 2005

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Brunswick Co., NC
3 Nov 2006

Nectaring on azaleas


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Alligator River NWR in Dare Co., NC
8 Nov 2009

Covered in natural morning dew and mist


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule)
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Craven Co., NC
26 Aug 2007
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Clay Co., NC
20 May 2007

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) It was cloudy and 41 deg. F when I found this butterfly in the woods near the Carolina Intracoastal Waterway. And this was after an overnight low of 23 deg. F! It enjoyed minimal warmth from through my glove before I placed it in some nearby leaf litter.
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
New Hanover Co., NC
4 Jan 2014
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
New Hanover Co., NC
4 Jan 2014

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule)
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Currituck Co., NC
20 Aug 2014
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Brunswick Co., NC
29 Aug 2009

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule)
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Craven Co., NC
30 Aug 2009
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Craven Co., NC
30 Aug 2009

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Brunswick Co., NC
29 Aug 2009

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Craven Co., NC
30 Aug 2009

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Brunswick Co., NC
30 Aug 2008

A Green Lynx Spider captured this Cloudless Sulphur, offering a rare view of the upperwing surface.


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Tyrrell Co., NC
28 Aug 2016

This female is testing the Partridge Pea for egg laying.


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Bay Tree S. P., Bladen Co., NC
1 Oct 2016


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Created on ... September 2, 2004 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com