Tiny Flashing Colors:
Sulphur and Sleepy Orange Butterflies

By William T. Hathaway

Sulphur and Sleepy Orange Butterflies

Most of us have learned the names of the larger butterflies that appear as the summer season moves on. The Yellow Tiger Swallowtails clinging to the early blooming lilac shrubs are a familiar sight. Then come the Brown Spangled Fritillaries hovering over orange milkweed, and as fall approaches, the familiar Monarch butterflies are starting their southward migration from milkweed to milkweed.

Probably we never knew the name of that tiny swift yellow Sulphur butterfly, flashing its color as it zapped along so close to the ground. Did you recollect the name of that little orange butterfly? One author writes that the common name “Sleepy Orange” surely came from the butterfly's habit of hibernating during the cooler days of a southern winter. In the summer it is anything but sleepy with its rapid flight.


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