I was walking through some fields this past weekend and saw some yellow and blue butterflies. Generally, I associate butterflies and moths with spring and summer, not necessarily fall. In the high elevation area here in northern Arizona, I’ve seen a lot of caterpillars and colorful flitting bugs around this season. As long as there are flowers for nectar and plants for hosting, these bugs seem to have action going on from the snow melt in spring until the first snow fall.
The common sulfur is a North American butterfly, sometimes called a clouded sulfur. Their range is found in most of North America, within fields, meadows, roadsides, or open wooded areas. Both genders typically have pale yellow wings above with no traces of orange. The males have clean borders, while females have yellow dots. They find nectar from flowers on milkweed, butterfly bushes, coneflowers, clovers, or dandelions. Their host plants can be vetch, clovers, soybean, or alfalfa. A butterfly cycle includes egg, caterpillar(larva), chrysalis(pupa), then adult. The eggs laid are yellow and then turn red after a few day. The larva is green with a white stripe running along each side of the body. The green chrysalis then hangs up right in silk. Just before the end of pupa, the chrysalis turns yellow with a pink zipper-like opening.