Wild South Florida — Barred Sulphur Butterfly
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Barred Sulphur Butterfly
barred sulphur butterfly
Barred sulphur butterfly, found along Lake Ida Road, west of Delray Beach.
Barred Sulphur Butterfly  

Remember this name: Eurema daira. If you Google barred sulphur butterfly, chances are you're going to get a ton of hits for the orange-barred sulphur butterfly. However, if you Google Eurema daira, you'll get this guy, the barred sulphur butterfly. It's actually a common butterfly throughout Florida and the Southeast United States, but apparently it gets overshadowed by the more spectacularly colored orange, at least on the Internet.

Barred Sulphur Butterfly

Barred Sulphur Butterfly  

You'll find the barred sulphur fluttering about fields, scrubs, roadsides and open pine woodlands. In flight, it looks white. But if you get a glimpse of it when it lights, it's a peppery pale or bright yellow, depending on the time of the year — brighter in winter, less so in summer.

Males have more distinct black markings on their wings than the females. They also spend their time patrolling for females. Barred sulphurs are medium sized, with a wingspan that goes about an inch and a half, give or take. The edge of the wings will have an orange tinge.

Host plants include members of the pea family, while adults will nectar on a variety of flowers, including the ubiquitous Spanish needle. They'll fly throughout the year in Florida, producing three generations a year.

Although their primary range is the Southeast, they will wander as far north as South Dakota and as far west as Arizona. The southward limits of the barred sulphur's range is Argentina. It is a member of the Pieridae family.

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