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Sulphurs and White Butterflies

The Pieridae family consists of a large number of small to medium size butterflies, characterized by orange, white or yellow wings.

Yellow Sulphur Butterfly on a Pink Zinnia

Identifcation can be difficult for many nature lovers, like us! Many species of Sulphurs are quite similar in size, color, markings and flight characteristics. Plus some interbreed and hybridize which makes identication even more difficult.

The Orange Sulphur, Clouded Sulphur and Southern Dogface all have similar markings, a black spot on the forewing and a white/silver spot with a red ring on the hindwing.

Both the Clouded Sulphur and Orange Sulphur are medium-sized butterflies, with rounded wings; the Clouded Sulphur is a lemon yellow, whlle the Orange sulphur is orange.

The wings on the Dogface are sharply pointed. The forewing is yellow with an outline of the namesake "dog face" on the edge of the wing. A dark spot appears as the dog's eye.

The Cloudless Sulphur is larger than most sulphurs. Males are typically a solid, bright yellow while females are yellow with a black border on the wings and single or double pink-ring around a silver spot in the hindwing center.

Shown below is a comparison chart of commonly seen Sulphur Butterflies.

Sulphur butterflies comparison and identificationButterflies at Home


Featured below are details on several whites and sulphurs. You can click any image to enlarge. We'll get more posted from our archives shortly ... so visit again soon.

Orange Sulphur

Size: 1.5" - 2.5"

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Orange Sulphur Butterfly

Clouded Sulphur

Size: 1.5" - 2.5"

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Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

Cloudless Sulphur

Size: 2.0" - 3.0"

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Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly

Southern Dogface

Size: 2.0" - 2.75"

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Southern Dogface butterfly at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in San Antonio, Texas

Sleepy Orange

Size: 1.4" - 2.0"

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Sleepy Orange butterfly on a pink Zinnia

Little Yellow

Size: 1" - 1.5"

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Little Yellow Butterfly

Checkered White Butterfly

Size: 1.25" - 2.00"

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Checkered White Butterfly

Cabbage White Butterfly

Size: 1.25" - 1.75"

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Cabbage White Butterfly

White-angled Sulphur

White-angled Sulphur Butterfly

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