Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in PIERIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameCloudless Sulphur by Paul Hart => Raven Rock State Park, 2004-10-01, male top
[View PDF]
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[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NamePhoebis sennae
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Statewide, occurring in all counties, but primarily a northbound migrant into the state in summer and fall. Small numbers of adults appear in spring from larvae that have successfully overwintered.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Except after harsh winters, it is abundant in late summer and fall in the Coastal Plain, especially in the lower Coastal Plain. Numbers decrease inland, but generally fairly common to common in the eastern Piedmont, and uncommon to fairly common in the upper Piedmont and mountains. Numbers are typically highest in September, when over 100 individuals can be seen in a day in some Coastal Plain counties. Mostly uncommon to occasionally fairly common in spring and early summer.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: One relatively small brood from early March through June. However, one to two additional broods from July to late fall. The bulk of the butterflies are present from mid-July into November, peaking in August and September. Most of these are clearly migrants; there is an obvious north or northeast movement in August and early September. Lingering individuals can be seen flying on any day in winter if the weather is mild or warm.
HabitatHABITAT: Widespread in open country; fields, meadows, croplands, savannas, etc. It is not a species of woodlands, but it is often seen along woodland edges.
See also Habitat Account for General Fields, Gardens, and Ruderal Habitats
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: The main foodplants are sennas (Senna spp.). The species nectars on a great variety of flowers.
CommentsCOMMENTS: Of the southern species that migrate northward into NC in summer and fall, this is by far the most conspicuous. Dozens can be seen drifting northward in the early fall across fields and roads in the Coastal Plain. This is often the most commonly seen butterfly in the Coastal Plain in August, September, and October.
State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Cloudless Sulphur
Photo by: Nancy Baldwin
Comment: chrysalis, 28-July-1997, Mayesville, SC
Cloudless Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Pender Co.
Cloudless Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Jeff Pippen
Comment: Dare Co, NC - 2 Oct 2005
Cloudless Sulphur - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Jeff Pippen
Comment: Craven Co., NC - 28 Aug 2005
Cloudless Sulphur - Click to enlarge