Phoebis agarithe

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Phoebis agarithe
Large orange sulphur (Phoebis agarithe) female ventral.jpg
Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe) male ventral.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pieridae
Genus: Phoebis
Species: P. agarithe
Binomial name
Phoebis agarithe
(Boisduval, [1836])[1]
  • Callidryas agarithe Boisduval, [1836]
  • Catopsilia arganie floridiensis Röber, 1909 (preocc. Neumoegen, 1891)

Phoebis agarithe, the orange giant sulphur or large orange sulphur, is a butterfly in the family Pieridae. It is found from Peru north to southern Texas and peninsular Florida. Rare strays can be found up to Colorado, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and New Jersey. The species has also been introduced in Hawaii.[2] The habitat consists of open, tropical lowlands including gardens, pastures, road edges, trails and parks.[3]

The wingspan is 57–86 mm (2.2–3.4 in). The upper surface of the males is bright orange without markings. There are two female forms, a pink-white and yellow-orange form. The underside of the forewings of both sexes has a straight submarginal line. There are two seasonal forms: the winter form has heavier underside markings. Adults are on wing from August to September in southern Texas and all year round in the tropics. They feed on flower nectar, favoring lantana, shepherd's needle, bougainvillea, rose periwinkle, Turk's cap and hibiscus.[3]

The larvae feed on fresh leaves of Pithecellobium and Inga species.[3]


The following subspecies are recognised:[1]

  • Phoebis agarithe agarithe (Texas, Mexico)
  • Phoebis agarithe fischeri (H. Edwards, 1883) (Baja California)
  • Phoebis agarithe maxima (Neumoegen, 1891) (Florida)
  • Phoebis agarithe antillia Brown, 1929 (Haiti)
  • Phoebis agarithe pupillata Dillon, 1947 (Dominica)
  • Phoebis agarithe tumbesina Lamas, 1981 (Peru)


  1. ^ a b Phoebis, Site of Markku Savela
  2. ^ "Butterflies of Hawaii, United States". Butterflies and Moths of North America. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Butterflies and Moths of North America