What comes to mind when you hear about a beautiful flying insect? Are you thinking the same thing I am? Yes, it is a butterfly. There are almost 5,000 species of butterflies worldwide in various colors, like golden butterflies, blue butterflies, and many others. People consider the butterfly a sign of love. In this article, we will talk about yellow butterflies in the USA.

A little about butterflies

The Rhopalocera suborder includes butterflies as members. They belong to the insect class as well as the Arthropoda phylum. The Lepidoptera order consists of all butterflies and moths. The scientific term for these insects is appropriately named, as the words “leps” and “pterón” in ancient Greek imply scale and wing, respectively. Butterflies have 126 families and 46 superfamilies, yet all have the same life cycle. There are now around 10% of the 180,000 species of butterflies and moths, with Peru having the highest diversity.

Butterflies are further divided into five families: There are 4,130 species in Hesperidia, including the following:

  1. Pyrrhopyginae
  2. Pyrginae
  3. Hesperiinae
  4. Coeliadinae
  5. Euschemoniinae

The Papilionidae are a different family of butterflies because their back wings frequently have a little extension. They are commonly referred to as swallowtails. The other trait these butterflies’ caterpillars process, an osmaterium, releases a repulsive odor as a protection strategy. Members of this family come in a variety of hues, including pink.

Yellow butterflies

You will find a lot of yellow butterflies in the USA. Sometimes, butterflies absorb yellow color to boost camouflage because yellow flowers are their food. Most of the yellow butterflies eat the flowers and their herbs. The color ranges from light yellow to dark yellow. Yellow butterflies also have a black and red pattern on their wings. There are chances for both sexes to have different colors. If a male is yellow, the female color can differ from it. If we talk about America, North America is a permanent habitation of yellow butterflies. Butterflies are available throughout the country, but we will discuss only yellow butterflies in North America.

How to attract yellow butterflies?

Planting their host plants, such as partridge pea, Bahama cassia, wild senna, or other natural species, can draw these lovely butterflies to your yard.

Yellow butterflies in North America

In North America, there are almost 28 species of yellow butterflies. A brief introduction to a few of them is given below.

1. Orange Sulphur 

The Orange Sulphur butterfly belongs to the Clouded Yellows group, which encompasses various yellow butterfly species. These butterflies possess the remarkable ability to perceive different shades of color. Moreover, it’s possible for males and females to exhibit distinct colors. Female butterflies predominantly exhibit hues of white or yellow.

This particular species is commonly found across American states. If you explore areas abundant in flowers from the pea family, you’re likely to come across caterpillars of the Orange Sulphur butterfly. As adults primarily feed on nectar, you have a higher chance of observing these butterflies near flowers such as milkweed and dandelions.

What is the lifespan of Orange Sulphur?

Most of the times these butterflies are known to live 2 to 3 days. On the other hand, if we talk about longest span of these specific flies, they are known to live for 4 weeks.

2. Cloudless Sulphur

The Cloudless Sulphur, scientifically known as Phoebis sennae, is a captivating butterfly indigenous to the Americas. Its notable feature lies in its brilliant yellow coloration and translucent wings, calling it “cloudless.” Found in various habitats, from gardens to open fields, it gracefully flutters while seeking out nectar from an array of flowering plants.

Belonging to the Sulphur butterfly family, the Cloudless Sulphur exhibits a fascinating life cycle. Females lay eggs on the host plants, often of the Cassia genus. Upon hatching, the caterpillars consume these leaves, undergoing several instars before pupating. This process ultimately leads to the emergence of the vibrant adult butterfly.

Renowned for its active flight patterns, the Cloudless Sulphur plays a crucial role in pollination, aiding the reproduction of numerous plant species. Its vibrant presence and ecological significance make it a cherished sight among butterfly enthusiasts and nature lovers.

3. Sleepy orange

Sleepy oranges exist throughout the entire country, including Northern America. The primary color of this breed is orange, but yellow is also visible. Both sexes of this breed can contain orange color and yellow colors. Like other species of yellow flies, sleepy oranges also have a linear life cycle. The sleepy oranges are primarily available in the summer when they come out to the plain green areas. Their purpose for coming out is to get food.

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What is the size of sleepy orange?

Sleepy orange butterfly falls in the list of miniature and its maximum size is 2 inches, while an average is 1.5 inches.

4. Dainty Sulphur

Dainty Sulphur is a standard yellow butterfly in the entire USA. They keep on changing their place due to temperature variations. However, the butterflies love to live in warm areas, and it is reason for their large population in Florida. They remain active for six months in cold climates like Ohio or Montana. Talking about appearance they have narrow black lines on their bodies. Males and females have the same color, but some traits differ. Females have some black sections on their bodies. Moreover, finding dainty sulfur in white or black is rare. These species choose to live in places having short vegetables and flowers.

5. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are primarily present in numerous states of the Southeast. The maximum length of this species is 6 inches. Contrary to dainty sulfur, this species is famous for flying higher. Eastern Tiger Swallowtails can fly higher than trees. This name is mainly used on male butterflies, not females. Males mostly carry yellow and black, while females have two different colors. Female flies contain blue stripes commonly visible in dark brown colors, while males control light yellow.

6. Western Tiger Swallowtails

The western tiger swallowtail refers to the breed of tiger swallowtail living in North America. One can find them from California to British Columbia. Western Tiger Swallowtails also contain black color. The yellow paint on this species is prominent, and it varies from region to region. It is easy to find them because they can live on every type of tree. Adult butterflies mostly live next to water sources and also in plain areas. Regarding their diet, they do not eat hardwood tree leaves. Their preference for consumption is something like liquid.

7. Clouded Sulphur

Clouded Sulphur is habitual in the entire country of Alaska to southern Texas. Both sexes have the same colors but different patterns. Males contain yellow fringes. On the other hand, females consisted of lemon yellows with black fringing. Females also have orange spots on their dorsum. You can find them in the USA and Canada too. They mainly feed on alfalfa and other plants like milkweed and dandelion. These morph species are available in the entire world and might be available in the world as a whole. So there is a possibility of finding them in other countries.

8. Little Yellow

Pyrisitia Lisa, a species of Little Yellow, has yellow males and females. These butterflies can also be white. However, this variation is relatively uncommon. Little yellow butterflies may be available in the eastern and southeastern states of the US. The typical habitat of little yellow butterflies is open, well-drained terrain. This species has several flying seasons and a wingspan of around an inch. It is smaller than other yellow butterflies. As partridge peas develop, little yellow butterflies are in various environments where they deposit their eggs. Like many butterflies, the little yellow’s tastes in food evolve as it grows into an adult. For Little Yellow adults, asters are among their preferred sources of nectar.

9. Southern Dogface

Southern Dogface butterflies have two types of coloring: dorsal coloring and ventral coloring. Most of the time, they have black stripes on their wings. However, like males, females have red and pinkish combinational wings instead of black. They lay eggs under the leaves. Adults lay many eggs at a time, commonly on the leaves of pea species. The nectar of alfalfa and verbena is their primary feed. They are ubiquitous worldwide.

What is the life cycle of dogface butterfly?

They begin as eggs, develop into caterpillars, pupate, and finally emerge as fully grown, wingless adults, just like other butterflies. Males alight and wait for females to approach. On appropriate host plants, females lay one egg per leaf on the underside.

10. Canadian Tiger swallowtail

Canada and areas of the northern US are home to many Canadian Tiger Swallowtails. The US Tiger Swallowtail and this species are quite similar. The primary distinction between the Canadian swallowtail and other swallowtail species is size. The wingspan of the Canadian subspecies is a little bit smaller. The male Canadian swallowtail still has distinctive yellow and black colors. The puddling of this species is well recognized. Butterflies will congregate in bunches in damp environments or when they come to food like carrion. As a result, when they gather, either for water or food is the optimum time to watch Canadian Tiger Swallowtails.


Butterflies have earned a lot of fame for being beautiful and attractive. Fantastic coloring and patterns in beautiful butterfly wings do not allow a person to change sight while watching it. Butterfly and sunflowers are always discussed together because butterfly mostly sits on them. It isn’t easy to see a butterfly’s face naked because it is very challenging to catch it on the field. Other than the above-discussed species, there are more Yellow butterflies in America.

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