Clouded Yellow Colias croceus (Geoffroy, 1785)

Superfamily: Papilionoidea Family: Pieridae Status: Resident in Madeira

Recommended tours to watch this butterfly

Half-day birdwatching
Laurel Forest Tour
Full-day birdwatching
Note: when booking any of these tours please state your interest in butterflies.

Clouded Yellow Description

A medium-sized butterfly whose upperparts colours vary from pale yellow to bright orange. “A form in which the yellow on the upper side of the wings is replaced by white (f. helice Hübner) is rather frequently seen, mainly on Porto Santo.” (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006)
Its undersides are yellow with greenish tones on the hind-wings and outer edge of fore-wings. Both sexes have a white roundish discoidal spot on the underside hind-wings and a black one on the fore-wings. Males upperparts have a continuous black contour on the wings while females have an irregular contour with yellow submarginal spots.

Colias croceus Caterpillars

Its caterpillars are green, normally matching the colour of its host plant, with very short whitish hair coming out from the black spots all over the body. It has a pale spiracular line with yellow orangey spots along it.

Host & Food Plants

The larva feeds on Leguminosae species mainly from the genus Trifolium, Medicago, Viscia, Lotus and others. (Haahtela et al., 2011)

Habitat & behaviour

It is found in most habitat types though it is more common in warm places, abundant of flowers. In Madeira is not so common on the higher altitudes but might be seen there in hot summer days.

Distribution in the Atlantic Islands of Macaronesia:

Occurs in Madeira, Porto Santo, Deserta Grande, Azores and Canary Islands (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006)


Regional status according to Aguiar & Karsholt, 2008: Native to Madeira, Porto Santo & Desertas Islands
Regional status according to Wakeham-Dawson et al., 2001: Common, resident migrant
Status according to the European Red List of Butterflies, 2010: Least Concern

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