Clouded Yellow - Colias crocea - Colias común

Clouded Yellow – Colias crocea – Colias común

  • Family: Pieridae
  • Scientific name: Colias crocea
  • English common name: Clouded Yellow
  • Spanish common name: Colias común
  • Portuguese common name: Borboleta maravilha
  • Distribution: Southern and Central Europe to East Asia, North Africa

The Clouded Yellow – Colias crocea – Colias común is a fast flying butterfly identified by its medium size and mustard yellow colouring. They rarely show the upperwings when resting, which a have a dark, almost black border, widest at the tip and a dark spot on each forewing.

The under wing is yellow with a green tinge and a fine pink trim. There are ringed white spots (one large one small) on the central area of the hindwing.

Clouded Yellow - Colias crocea - Colias común

They migrate northwards and may breed, but will not complete their lifecycle in colder climates.

There is a pale form in the females which is a greenish white with a yellow flush at the underwing tip.

The caterpillars of this species grow up to 3cm long, they are green, hairless, with a white to yellow horizontal line above the legs.

  • Wing size: 46-54mm
  • Altitude: Sea level to 1600m
  • Flight time: March-October in two broods
  • Over-wintering: Caterpillar
  • Caterpillar food plant: Larvae feed on a variety of leguminous plants, namely Faboideae (Trifolium pratense, Medicago sativa, Medicago lappacea, Medicago hispida, Medicago polymorpha, Medicago sulcata, Vicia, Lotus, Onobrychis, Astragalus, Colutea arborescens, Hippocrepis, and Anthyllis species.
  • Butterfly food plants: Adults feed primarily on nectar of thistles (Cirsium and Carduus are preferred.) Knapweeds (Centaurea), dandelion (Taraxacum), fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica), marjoram (Origanum vulgare), ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), and vetches (Vicia).

Similar species: Mountain Clouded Yellow (Colias phicomone), Berger’s Clouded Yellow (Colias alfacariensis)

Butterflies of Iberia. These are included in the list of butterflies in Andalusia. Images taken in Andalucia, Southern Spain.

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