Small butterfly with a wingspan up to 1-1/4 inches. The upperside is greenish-yellow with black markings and a black bar on the trailing margin. The markings are more extensive on the female, which also has an orange flush on the hindwing. The underside has an orange or yellow patch with black spots. The hindwing is dusky green in the winter form and pale yellow in the summer form. The caterpillar is green with a narrow purple stripe on the back and the sides. The chrysalis is green.
North America, Caribbean, Central America
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Common throughout range; adults and caterpillars present all year in South Florida and the Keys.
Disturbed areas such as weedy fields, grasslands and road edges.
Three or more broods per year. The yellow, spindle-shaped eggs are laid singly on the leaves of host plant seedlings.
Adults fly very close to the ground.
Larval host plants include the native Spanish-needles (Bidens alba var. radiata) and turkey tangle fog fruit (Phyla nodiflora) and the nonnative Indian-chickweed (Mollugo verticillata. Native nectar plants include Spanish-needles (Bidens alba var. radiata).
Gann, G.D., M.E. Abdo, J.W. Gann, G.D. Gann, Sr., S.W.
Woodmansee, K.A. Bradley, E. Grahl and K.N. Hines. 2005-2016. Natives For Your Neighborhood. http://www.regionalconservation.org.
The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida USA.