Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Phoebis sennae
Description: Color is variable: may be green with a
bright yellow stripe; green with a bright yellow stripe and blue patches on the sides; yellow
with bright yellow line on sides; yellow with bright yellow line on sides and black rings.
All have varying degrees of short hairs that come from tiny black tubercles.
Chrysalis: Green, yellow or rosy in color. Greatly
compressed from side to side. Resembles a leaf.
Host Plants: The host plant may be partridge pea
(Chamaecrista cinerea), sennas (Senna), clovers (Trifolium), or other legumes (Fabaceae).
Habitat: Open areas, including prairies, old fields,
roadsides, and gardens.
Comments: The Cloudless Sulphur cannot survive
northern winters, and is considered a stray in Wisconsin. The species does not stray to
Wisconsin every year, and it should be considered a rare find.
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy,
while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars
share certain morphological features.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.