OMG! Cloudless Sulphur

bananasinohio(6OH)August 7, 2010

For those of you in the South, this won't be that exciting. However, these beauties are rare in Ohio. This is the first one that I have seen this summer and it was laying eggs in my Senna! Right outside my patio door! She seemed like she was saying "Thank God! A Senna!" We don't have that many places near me that have this plant and I put these plants in just last year. She kept circling and laying eggs. She even brushed up against me as she was doing this. I collected close to 20 eggs and can't wait. Any of you who have raised these, any advice is much appreciated.

So excited I can't stand it,

Elisabeth

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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Congrats, Elisabeth! What kind of Senna? hebecarpa, Partridge Pea?

I've raised a number of them and I never cease to be in awe of them. One of our largest sulphurs, they are so graceful and lovely on the wing. The caterpillars are really pretty, too. If they eat the flowers, they will be yellow banded; foliage, green with blue and yellow. Either way, very pretty. Easy to raise. The chrysalises are beautiful and unique sulphur, none other like them.

Have fun!

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Phoebis sennae

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 8:24PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

I have Senna herbecarpa and Senna marylandica. I am not sure which one that is. They only real difference is the extrafloral nectaries they have. One looks round and the other is boot shaped.

Yellow banded? Cool! So, I will try to feed them flowers! How long till they hatch? Do they all migrate?

Cheers,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 8:39PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

You'll enjoy raising cloudless sulphurs, Elisabeth. The caterpillars are green when they eat just leaves, yellow when they eat flowers, and greenish yellow when they eat both.
Here's a green one -

And here's a yellow one -
They also have several colors of chrysalides, yellow, pink, and green. Here's a green one -

A yellow one -

And a pink one -

Congrats, congrats!
Sherry

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:20PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Congratulations Elisabeth! What a cool cat and chrysalis!

I guess I need to add Senna to my ever growing list of plants.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 10:42PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Congrats!
I don't know my sulphurs very well. The larger ones I see around my yard like to nectar on the salvia I planted to attract hummingbirds. I've seen them use 'Black and Blue' and 'Lady in Red'. Most other butterflies don't go to it.
It's a striking contrast when those big yellow sulfurs land on a background of bright blue or red salvia. So pretty!
I've never found cats or a chrysalis so your photos are very interesting Sherry. They're an odd shape aren't they.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:11AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

I've raised both the Cloudless and the Sleepy Oranges. The SOs cats are smaller and not quite as colorful as the CSs, but the chrysalis is the same shape. Both are pretty easy to raise. The only problem I have found is that the S. hebecarpa didn't hold up as well after being cut to feed the cats. It wilted really fast for me. I normally feed them the S. bicapsularis if I find them on the S. hebecarpa, and they readily switch to it.

My S. hebecarpa is pretty big now - about 4-5' tall and wider, and when it's in full bloom it's a gorgeous plant. The seedpods are attractive, too. I tried cutting mine back after it finished flowering this year to see if I can get some regrowth on it. It gets kind of pitiful looking, and I'm hoping it will pick up the pace. We'll see.

Susan

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:05AM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Congrats on your CS!! I just love them. They especially love to nectar on my Impatiens. I am raising a bunch of Cloudless Sulphurs and also Sleepy Oranges here in zone 7a. The host we have for them here is the Sicklepod Senna. I am harvesting tons of that seed already!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 3:59PM
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fairfieldcircle(6a)

Congrats, Elizabeth on your great find! I think I saw it reported on the Ohio Lepidopterists list serv too, didn't I? Way to go!

And those photos are so interesting and beautiful. I have to go out and check my senna now that I know what to look for!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 7:59PM
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bob_71(z7 MD)

Splendid photos, Elisabeth!

Bob

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 9:57AM
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bernergrrl(z5 IL)

Congrats on your find Elisabeth!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 2:59PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Thanks! I now have about ten little caterpillars. I find sulphurs to be hard to raise. They are so tiny and stay on one leaf for a long time.
-Elisabeth

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 7:06PM
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emmayct(6)

Well, two years later, I have had a Cloudless Sulphur oviposit on my Partridge Pea. So along with Giants on my Rue, and PVS, I can now add another species to my butterfly raising efforts. What a year.

Maryann

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:17PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Congratulations Maryann!

They have visited here last summer and this summer as well. I have one little cloudless sulphur on my table right now.

Ohio is in the midst of a sulphur explosion. We have seen cloudless and sleepy oranges since May. We usually don't see them till mid summer at the earliest. Both these species have been seen in our northern most couties as well. Usually they are seen in the south. In addition, we have a dainty sulphur boom as well. We usually have a rare stray every year. This year they are counting them in the hundreds. We are getting county records for them all over the state. I have yet to see one but am working on it.

Enjoy your senna, it is a great plant with lots of interesting biology.

Cheers,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:37PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I was out moving rearing sleeves around this afternoon when my son started shouting about a big, bright yellow butterfly. It looked to be the size of a monarch. It was a strong flyer. It was interested in my paper birch. I sent my daughter scrambling for a butterfly net. She got back with it in time. I got close to the birch. The butterfly was landing on birch leaves but spent only a split second on the leaves it was on. I was on the opposite side of tree, hoping for one shot at the butterfly but I never got one. It decided it was done, took a wide loop around me and was quickly two backyards away.

I looked at the leaves but found nothing.

I went through my Ohio Butterflies book and found nothing yellow that would be that big. Wish I could have gotten it for a positive ID.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:09AM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Sounds like a cloudless KC. They are HUGE! They do not look like an orange or clouded. They do not behave like the Colias either. They are powerful fliers. The Colias flutter around from plant to plant. The cloudless race by us (this is while we are surveying)and fly across the field at a quick pace. The interesting thing is that they often buzz us. It's like they are interested in us. They are very bright yellow, with males a more green yellow and the females more yellow (if I remember that correctly).

I am definately sending you Senna seed.

-Elisabeth

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:32PM
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msomally

This one looked great in purple! haha

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 12:49PM
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