([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
- Subfamily: Coliadinae - Coliadini
- Wingspan: 40-45 mm
- Flight period: Apr - Oct
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Fabaceae
The Colias crocea also called Clouded Yellow is a butterfly of the Pieridae family with a wingspan of 40-45 mm.
It is distributed throughout Europe in Italy and is also present in the Islands. *
The background color of the upper page of the anterior wing is usually orange-yellow, the discal spot of the rear wing is bright orange. The front wing has a dark band along the edge, black in color which is also visible in the rear wing.
The lower pages of the wings take up the background color of the upper pages, slightly faded on the front wing. They have a pink border and a series of dark spots (often pink in color), not well defined in the postdiscal region, parallel to the edge. Also the discal spot of the rear wing is shown on the lower page, almost always accompanied by a much smaller spot, both are white and edged in pink, with a second, slightly larger, pink edging.
he anterior wing has a clearly visible black spot between the discoid cell and the median area.**
The sexual dimorphism is highlighted by the coloration of the wing edge of the upper page which in the male is completely black while in the female it has a series of spots in the background color. There are two forms of Colias crocea , the f. helice with the background color of the wings white, and the f. helicina with a pale lemon yellow bottom. These two forms are similar with other congenital species.
Polivoltina (from 3 to 4 generations per year) has flickers ranging from April to October. Very fast and powerful flight, it has good migratory aptitudes and can also reach northern Europe. When it rests it always keeps its wings closed like all the representatives of the Colias.
Present from the basal to the mountain level, it is observed in the most varied environments from meadows to cultivated areas. It overwinters in the larva stage. The caterpillar is light green in color with two white and yellow lateral lines running along the sides and presenting, more or less in the center of each segment, black points outlined in the upper part of orange. The larva in winter can continue to feed as its "hibernation" is not total.
The larvae feed on various Fabaceae, such as Coronilla, Hippocrepis, Lotus, Medicago, Melilotus and Onobrychis.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/