Sleepy Sulphur

Eurema nicippe

Puddling Butterlies Photo © by Mike Plagens

Nine Sleepy Sulphurs on the right are joined, at left, by a Cloudless Sulfur (Phoebis sennae) and a Dogface Butterfly at a damp spot along Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona, Sept. 2006.

Pieridae -- White & Sulphur Butterfly Family

If you've ever attempted to capture a sleepy sulphur with a butterfly net you certainly question the term 'sleepy'. Fast and wary when pursued, these butterflies occasionally visit flowers but are more likely seen at puddles or damp soil. The wings on the top side are deep butter-orange with a narrow black border. The reverse side as seen in the photo at left is pastel orange with faint markings. Eurema nicippe is among the most common butterflies in the Sonoran Desert from spring through late fall. The caterpillars can be found on various plants in the bean family.

Eurema nicippe photo © by Mike Plagens

Taking nectar at flowers of Clammy Weed (Polanisia trachysperma). Hieroglyphic Mountains, Yavapai Co., Arizona. 22 June 2013.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 28 Jan. 2009,
updated 4 March 2017.