Explanation of Names
Colias philodice Godart, 1819
Yellow or white with wings bordered dark brown on top; each wing has a spot near the middle, dark on the front wings, and yellowish to orange on the hind wings. Wings ventrally without dark borders; usually paler than above, usually with a row of dark spots on both front and hind wings parallelling outer margin; front wing with dark spot in middle, that usually has a pale center; hind wing with middle spot round, pearly white, usually with a satellite spot, and usually double-ringed by dark lines and pink color.
The white form female philodice can often be separated from the white form female eurytheme by the HW outer margin. In philodice the HW dark outer margin will usually be narrower often without included pale spots or with the pale spots merging with yellow part of wing, while eurytheme most often has a wider irregular and dark border, with pale spots completely included within.
White form males are very rare, but can be distinguished by association with normal yellow individuals, and usually by the narrower dark border in this species as compared to C. eurytheme.
Note difference in wider dark borders of HW of female Colias eurytheme. Usually a helpful trait, but both species are variable:
All of North America except Arctic, part of California, and tropical Florida.(1)
Larvae feed on alfalfa, clover, vetches, and other legumes. (1)
- pinned specimens show the upper wings, not usually seen on images captured in the wild.