As its name suggests, whites are mostly white in color with the occasional black or orange marking. Some whites, however, can also be found in shades of yellow and orange. This group of butterflies is abundant and easily spotted in gardens and fields. They are one of the first butterflies to make an appearance in spring.
The sulphur butterfly can be spotted by its bright yellow color and unique flying pattern, which entails the constant fluttering of its wings and very little gliding.
Butterfly Spotting: In 1860 the cabbage white was introduced to Quebec and since then has spread across North America. All white except for dark tipped forewings and the occasional dark spot, this butterfly has become a common sight in Canadian and U.S. gardens.
Backyard Tip: Cabbage whites can eat vast amounts of cabbages, radishes and nasturtiums, making this butterfly a pest to some gardeners and farmers.
Butterfly Spotting: While the male clouded sulphur is light yellow with a black border along the wing surface, the female can be yellow or white with a black-spotted border.
Backyard Tip: The clouded sulphur feeds on clover, alfalfa and many types of plants in the legume family.
Butterfly Spotting: A lemon-yellow color without any markings on its upper side distinguishes the cloudless sulphur. The underside is yellow or mottled reddish brown. The female can either be yellow or white with the upper and lower sides being the same color.
Backyard Tip: Cloudless sulphurs enjoy a wide variety of long-tubular flowers, such as cordia, bougainvillea, cardinal flower, hibiscus, lantana, and wild morning glory.