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Very large butterfly with a wingspan measuring up to 4-5/8 inches. The upperside of the wings is bright yellow (paler in females) with a black spot. The apex of the forewing is hooked. The underside is greenish-yellow with prominent veins and the wing is curved.
West Indies, Central America, South America; irregular migrant to Florida, west to New Mexico, and north to Nebraska.
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Rare stray in South Florida and the Keys, usually in September.
Open, sunny areas.
Two broods per year in Florida. Several eggs are laid on a single host plant.
This butterfly is a powerful flier; it flies swiftly at levels higher than those used by many butterflies.
Caterpillars feed on the leaves of host plants. Larval host plants are in the pea family (Fabaceae), usually those in the genus Senna as well as the native hairy sensitive pea (Chamaecrista pilosa). Nectar host plants have red and purple flowers, such as native and nonnative species of Hibiscus and the nonnative paper flower (Bougainvillea sp.)