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Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Pieridae: Coliadinae)
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00000869/00001
 Material Information
Title: Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Pieridae: Coliadinae)
Series Title: Featured Creatures
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Hall, Donald W.
Minno, Marc C. 1956-
Walker, Thomas J. 1931-
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012
 Notes
Abstract: "The cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), is one of our most common and attractive Florida butterflies and is particularly prominent during its fall southward migration."
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Diana Hagan.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Publication #EENY-524"
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00000869:00001

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EENY-524 Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Pieridae: Coliadinae) 1Donald W. Hall, Marc C. Minno and Thomas J. Walker2 1. This document is EENY-524, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Ag ricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date April 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.u.edu 2. Donald W Hall and Thomas J. Walker, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. Marc C. Minno, St. Johns River Water Management District.The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or aliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim DeanIntroductione cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), is one of our most common and attractive Florida butteries and is particularly prominent during its fall southward migration. Its genus name is derived from Phoebe the sister of Apollo, a god of Greek and Roman mythology (Opler & Krizek 1984). e specic epithet sennae is for the genus Senna to which many of the cloudless sulphurs larval host plants belong.Distributione cloudless sulphur is found throughout much of the southern United States, and it strays northward to Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and New Jersey (Minno et al. 2005), and even into Canada (Riotte 1967). It is also found southward through South America to Argentina and in the West Indies (Heppner 2007).DescriptionAdultsWing spans range from 4.8 to 6.5 cm (approximately 1.9 to 2.6 in)(Minno & Minno 1999). Adults are usually bright yellow, but some summer form females are pale yellow or white (Minno & Minno 1999, Opler & Krizek 1984). Females have a narrow black border on the wings and a dark spot in the middle of the front wing. Males are seasonally dimorphic with winter forms being larger and with darker markings ventrally (Opler & Krizek 1984). Figure 1. Lareral view of adult male cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), nectaring at smallfruit beggarticks, Bidens mitis. Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 2. Adult female cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), lateral view. Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida

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2 Eggse eggs are cream colored when laid but later turn to orange. Larvaee larvae are green with yellow lateral lines and blue patches and transverse bands of tiny blue spots bearing black setae. Larvae that feed predominantly on owers are yellow with black transverse bands (Minno et al. 2005).Pupaee pupae hang vertically attached to a silk pad by the cremaster and also are supported by a silk girdle. Pupae may be either green or pink with yellow lines (Minno & Minno 1999). Figure 3. Adult female cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), dorsal view. Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida Figure 4. Adult female cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), ventral view. Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida Figure 5. Adult male cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), dorsal view. Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida Figure 6. Adult male cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), ventral view. Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida Figure 7. Egg of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Jerry Butler, University of Florida

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3 Figure 8. First instar larva of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), emerging from egg. Credits: David Almquist Figure 9. Green larva of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). The head is to the left. Credits: Jerry Butler, University of Florida Figure 10. Green larva of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Head is to the left. Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 11. Yellowish larva of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Head is to the left. Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 12. Yellow larva of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). The head is to the left. Credits: Jerry Butler, University of Florida Figure 13. A recently pupated cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida

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4 Life Cycle and BiologyCloudless sulphurs may be found in all habitats when migrating, but breed in disturbed open areas where their caterpillar host plants and nectar plants are found. ey have relatively long tongues and can reach the nectar of some tubular owers that some other butteries cannot (May 1992). Red owers are preferred (Glassberg et al. 2000). In Florida, they frequently nectar at the red morning-glories, scarlet creeper (Ipomoea hederifolia ), and cypressvine (Ipomoea quamoclit ) (Convolvulaceae), and also at scarlet sage, Salvia coccinea (Lamiaceae). Males sometimes drink from mud. Males patrol for females throughout the day (Cech & Tudor 2005) and especially around nectar plants (May 1985). Rutowski (1983) studied the mating behavior of cloudless sulphurs by tethering reared females to host plants (that were visited by both females and males) with threads and lming the mating sequence. e male initiate courtship by making contact with the females wings either with his wings or legs. A receptive female usually icked her wings and then closed them. Unless the female assumed a mate refusal posture (open wings and raised abdomen) the male landed beside her with his head pointing in the same direction as hers. e male then inserted the tip of his abdomen between the females hind wings to couple with her. roughout this time the male apped his wings. Aer coupling, he then attempted to y o with her, but was prevented from doing so by the tether. In a few cases his attempts to couple were unsuccessful and he moved to the other side of the female and was then usually successful. Eggs are laid singly on the host plant. Larvae live exposed (no shelter) and feed on foliage, buds, and owers. Development is continuous and none of the immature stages are capable of diapause. Winter form adults probably undergo reproductive diapause (Opler & Krizek 1984). At night, on dark, cloudy days, and during storms, adult cloudless surphurs roost singly on leaves. Before settling, they are very choosey of just the right place. An adult preparing to roost makes an erratic ight around a potential tree or shrub, settling briey at times, then ying about some more, and typically selecting a yellow or reddish leaf within other leaves on which to nally stop. is behavior may help prevent attacks from predators, such as birds, that may also be perching nearby and watching the activity. Although the adults are brightly colored when ying, they seem to disappear against similarly colored leaves in the shade. e roost site may be low to the ground in shrubs with lots of foliage or high up in the leaves of trees. Migration and Overwinteringe fall migration of cloudless sulphurs is the easiest to observe buttery migration in the southeastern United States. On ne days in the fall, throughout most of the Southeast, any buttery watcher driving an east-west road through open country will likely see these bright yellow butteries crossing the road and can conrm that they are crossing much more frequently from north to south than from south to north. (Monarchs are migrating at the same time, but they generally y too high to see and are heading for Mexico and hence may miss the Southeast.) During fall, the numbers of cloudless sulphurs crossing an east-west line Figure 14. Green and pink pupae of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 15. An adult female cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), feeding at scarlet sage, Salvia coccinea. Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida

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5 bisecting the Florida peninsula at the latitude of Gainesville may approach the numbers of monarchs overwintering in clusters at highly localized sites in Mexico (Walker 1991, 2001). e seasonal migrations of cloudless sulphurs and monarchs are similar in that each species is abandoning large and favorable summer breeding areas that have lethally low winter temperatures for more favorable climates to the south. In the spring, surviving adults head northward and soon repopulate the summer breeding areas. In both species, the northward migration is evidenced by the reappearance each summer in the breeding areas they abandoned the previous fall. In cloudless sulphurs, quantitative comparisons of the fall and spring ights have been made based on the catches of passive ight traps (Walker 1985). ese traps are successful because when cloudless sulphurs migrate through open areas most y within 3 meters of the ground, and when they encounter a major obstacle, such as a house, they rise and y over it rather than deviating from their migratory direction. When migrating butteries strike the central barrier of such a trap and attempt to y over it, they are deected into cages that segregate the butteries that have encountered the barrier on one side from those that have encountered it on the other. In fall, near Gainesville, between 1979 and 1993, ight traps oriented perpendicular to the axis of the Florida peninsula caught, on average, 504 more cloudless sulphurs ying southward than ying northward. In spring, their catch revealed a much smaller migration with 17 more ying northward than ying southward. In both migratory seasons about 90% of the total catch had been ying in the seasonally appropriate direction. In most years, some cloudless sulphurs probably successfully overwinter as far as 100 miles north of Gainesville, but in exceptionally frigid winters even Gainesville may have temperatures below 20F that are likely lethal to cloudless sulphurs. e large numbers migrating each fall across the latitude of Gainesville suggest that most overwintering is to the south. Fall and winter observations of butteries in Florida south of Gainesville suggest that nearly all migrants stop before reaching the latitude of Lake Okeechobee (Lenczewski 1992). As reported by Walker (2001), the fall migrations of cloudless sulphurs through Gainesville declined sharply between 1984 and 2000. Reduced planting of soybeans and more use of herbicides to control sicklepod in soybean elds may have caused, or at least contributed to, the decline. In summarizing his own and his associates research on buttery migrations in the Southeast U.S. between 1960 and 2000, Walker (2012) made openly accessible the trapping and azimuth data that are the basis of his major papers. HostsCloudless sulphur caterpillars utilize a variety of species in the genera Chamaecrista and Senna in the pea family (Fabaceae) as host plants, including the following Native Species Florida keys sensitive pea, Chamaecrista deeringii Maryland wild sensitive plant, Senna marilandica narrowpod sensitivepea, Chamaecrista lineata var. keyensis partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata privet wild sensitive plant, Senna ligustrina sensitive pea, Chamaecrista nictitans Chapmans wild sensitive plant, Senna mexicana var. chapmanii Introduced Species Africa wild sensitive plant, Senna didymobotrya candlestick plant, Senna alata coeeweed (sicklepod), Senna obtusifolia glossy shower, Senna surrattensis septicweed, Senna occidentalis valamuerto, Senna pendula var. glabrata Plant names are from Wunderlin and Hansen (2003 & 2011) or the USDA PLANTS Database. Senna pendula var glabrata a common cultivated ornamental bush in Florida, is also known as Christmas senna or buttery bush and is commonly (and erroneously) referred to by the scientic name Cassia bicapsularis (now Senna bicapsularis ). Senna bicapsularis is very similar to S. pendula, but is rarely planted in Florida (Isely 1990)

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6 Figure 16. Partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida Figure 17. Sensitive pea, Chamaecrista nictitans, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida Figure 18. Privet wild sensitive plant, Senna ligustrina, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Deborah Lott, University of Florida Figure 19. Chapmans wild sensitive plant, Senna mexicana var. chapmanii, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida

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7 Photographs of Senna marilandica and S. surrattensis are available by clicking on the Photo Gallery links at the following web sites: Senna marilandica : http://orida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant. aspx?id=905 Senna surrattensis: http://orida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant. aspx?id=1494 Figure 21. Coeeweed, Senna obtusifolia, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 20. Candlestick plant, Senna alata, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 22. Septic weed, Senna occidentalis, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 23. Septic weed, Senna occidentalis, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida

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8 Chamaecrista species have extraoral nectaries on the leaf petioles to attract predacious ants for protection from herbivores. Ants have been observed removing eggs and small larvae of Phoebis sennae from Chamaecrista fasciculata (Barton 1986). Senna mexicana S. obtusifolia S. occidentalis, S. pendula, S. marilandica S. surrattensis, and S. ligustrina also have extraoral nectaries on the leaf petioles (Isely 1990, Marazzi et al. 2006) and probably also gain some protection from Phoebis sennae larvae and other herbivores. Fleet and Young (2000) reported protection of Senna occidentalis from both the sleepy orange, Eurema nicippe (Cramer), and cloudless sulphur by imported re ants, which are attracted to the plants by extraoral nectaries. Senna didymobotrya has no extraoral nectaries (Marazzi et al. 2006), and there are conicting reports regarding the existence of extraoral nectaries on S. alata. According to Shumway et al. (2009), S. alata has extraoral nectaries, but according to Marazzi et al. (2006) it does not. e extraoral nectaries of Chamaecrista species are cup-shaped with a concave central disc while those of most Senna species are bud-shaped or button-shaped and convex. Figure 24. Extraoral nectary of sensitive pea, Chamaecrista nictitans var. aspera, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 25. Extraoral nectary of Florida Keys sensitive pea, Chamaecrista deeringiana, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida Figure 26. Extraoral nectary of narrowpod sensitive pea, Chamaecrista lineata, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Credits: Marc Minno, University of Florida

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9 Economic I portanceCloudless sulphur larvae eat the foliage, buds and owers of ornamental sennas. If necessary, they can be controlled by hand-picking. Chemical control is neither required nor recommended.Selected ReferencesBarton AM. 1986. Spatial variation in the eects of ants on an extraoral nectary plant. Ecology 67: 495-504. Cech R, Tudor G. 2005. Butteries of the East Coast: An Observers Guide. Princeton University Press. Princeton, New Jersey. USA. 345 pp. Fleet RR, Young BL. 2000. Facultative mutualism between imported re ants (Solenopsis invicta ) and a legume (Senna occidentalis ). Southwestern Naturalist 45: 289-298. Glassberg J, Minno C, Calhoun JV. 2000. Butteries through Binoculars: Florida. Oxford University Press. New York, New York. 256 pp. Heppner JB. 2007. Lepidoptera of Florida. Part 1. Introduction and Catalog. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas. Vol. 17. Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Division of Plant Industry. Gainesville, FL. 670 pp. Isely D. 1990. Leguminosae (Fabaceae). Vascular Flora of the Southeastern United States. Vol. 3, Part 2. e University of North Carolina Press. Chapel Hill, USA. 258 pp. Lenczewski, B. 1992. Buttery migration through the Florida peninsula. Ph. D. dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville. 131 pp. (University Microlms, Ann Arbor, MI). Marazzi B, Endress PK, Paganucci de Queiroz L, Conti E. 2006. Phylogenetic relationships within Senna (Leguminosae, Cassiinae) based on three chloroplast DNA regions: patterns in the evolution of oral symmetry and extraoral nectaries. American Journal of Botany 93: 288-303. May PG. 1985. Nectar uptake rates and optimal nectar concentrations of two buttery species. Oecologia 66: 381-386. May PG. 1992. Flower selection and the dynamics of lipid reserves in two nectivorous butteries. Ecology 73: 2181-2191. Minno MC, Butler JF, Hall DW. 2005. Florida Buttery Caterpillars and their Host Plants. University Press of Florida. Gainesville, Florida. 341 pp. Figure 27. Extraoral nectary of Chapmans wild sensitive plant, Senna mexicana var. chapmanii, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida Figure 28. Extraoral nectary of valamuerto, Senna pendula var. glabrata, a host of the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis Credits: Donald Hall, University of Florida

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10 Opler PA, Krizek GO. 1984. Butteries East of the Great Plains. e Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, Maryland. 294 pp. Riotte JCE. 1967. New and corrected buttery records for Ontario and for Canada. Journal of the Lepidopterists Association 21: 135-137. Rutowski RL. 1984. Courtship leading to copulation in the cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Pieridae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 22: 249-253. Shumway SW, Letcher SL, Friberg A, DeMelo D. (February 2009). RainforestPlants. http://wikis.wheatonma.edu/ rainforest/index.php/Main_Page (1 March 2012). USDA. (September 2011). e PLANTS Database. National Resources Conservation Service. http://plants.usda.gov/ (14 September 2011). Walker TJ. 1985. Permanent traps for monitoring buttery migration: tests in Florida, 1979-84. Journal of the Lepidopterists Society 39: 313-320. Walker TJ. 1991. Buttery migration from and to peninsular Florida. Ecological Entomology 16: 241-252. Walker TJ. 2001. Buttery migrations in Florida: seasonal patterns and long-term changes. Environmental Entomology 30: 1052-1060. Walker TJ. (January 2012). Buttery migration in the southeastern USA. UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology. http://entnemdept.ifas.u.edu/walker/ButtMigr.htm (1 March 2012). Walker TJ, Littell RC. 1994. Orientation of fall migrating butteries in north peninsular Florida and source areas. Ethology 98: 60-84. Wunderlin RP, Hansen BF. 2003. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. 2nd ed. University Press of Florida. Gainesville, Florida. 787 pp. Wunderlin RP, Hansen BF. (September 2011). Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. plantatlas.org. http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/ (14 September 2011).