List of butterflies of North America (Pieridae)

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Checkered white, Pontia protodice, egg on garlic mustard

Whites and sulphurs are small to medium-sized butterflies. Their wingspans range from 0.8-4.0 inches (2-10.2 cm). There are about 1,000 species worldwide with about 61 species in North America. Most whites and sulphurs are white, yellow, and orange with some black, and some may be various shades of gray green. Their flight is mostly slow and fluttering, but some of the larger species have quicker flights. Both males and females like to feed at flowers, while males also like to puddle on damp ground. Male whites and sulphurs locate females by patrolling. The eggs are spindle shaped and laid singly. Most of the long-slender larva are green or yellow. The chrysalis is usually triangular or cone headed. It hangs upright supported by a silken loop around the middle. The overwintering varies with species. It may be larva, chrysalis, or adult.

Subfamily Pierinae: whites[edit]

Female checkered white, Pontia protodice
West Virginia white, Pieris virginiensis
Female cabbage white, Pieris rapae
Male falcate orangetip, Anthocharis midea

Subfamily Coliadinae: sulphurs[edit]

Male orange sulphur, Colias eurytheme
Male southern dogface, Zerene cesonia
Mexican yellow, Eurema mexicana
Tailed orange, Eurema proterpia
Dainty sulphur, Nathalis iole
Lyside sulphur, Kricogonia lyside

Subfamily Dismorphiinae: mimic-whites[edit]


  • Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman (2003). Butterflies of North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-15312-8.