Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

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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 NameSleepy Orange by Roger Rittmaster => Durham Co.
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameAbaeis nicippe
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Essentially statewide, though it might be only a migrant into many mountain counties.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: The species is clearly more common in the east than in the mountains. It is common to abundant in the Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont, common in most of the remainder of the Piedmont, and generally locally uncommon in the mountains. From July to October, it is one of the most numerous butterflies in the state.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Several broods (at least three), with the species being much more common in summer and early fall than in spring. It appears by late February or early March, with the first brood finishing by late May. A second brood begins by early June. From mid-July into late October, the species is very numerous, and it is on the wing well into November; a few can be seen in winter on warm days. Whether late summer/fall populations are enhanced by migrants from the south is not clear.
HabitatHABITAT: Widespread, primarily in open country. Usually seen around cultivated fields and other fields and meadows, but also along woodland borders and openings in woods. Unlike other sulphurs, it may be seen at times inside forests (at least along forest road margins). It is most common around croplands that have been invaded by Sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia), such as soybean fields.
See also Habitat Account for General Fields, Gardens, and Ruderal Habitats
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Foodplants are various Senna species (and presumed also Chamaecrista species). Based on its abundance around croplands, the "weedy" Senna obtusifolia is an important foodplant. The species nectars on a wide variety of species.
CommentsCOMMENTS: This is an "interesting" species. In the spring, it may be seen flying inside woods and along woodland borders alongside the Falcate Orangetip. It is not overly common at that season, and it is a welcome and colorful harbinger of spring. By midsummer and fall, it behaves almost like a different species. It abounds by the dozens around soybean fields and other cultivated fields, which in the spring are mostly plowed fields (and thus not suitable butterfly habitat).
State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
SynonymEurema nicippe
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Sleepy Orange
Photo by: Nancy Baldwin
Comment: Yancey Co., Aug 1996
Sleepy Orange - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Sleepy Orange - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Salman Abdulali
Comment: winter form, River Park North, Pitt County, 2008-March-19
Sleepy Orange - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Comment: Warren Co., 2007-July-17
Sleepy Orange - Click to enlarge