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Tailed Orange Butterfly (Eurema proterpia)

Natural History

Tailed Orange Butterflies are sulphur butterflies with deep orange top wings that are more yellow beneath. Their wing span typically ranges between 1.25 - 1.75 inches. The butterflies have a summer and winter form. The winter form is easily distinguished by the distinctive tail on the hind wing. The summer form lacks a tail and was once thought to be a separate species.

The photo at right is of the summer form of a Tailed Orange Butterfly.

Tailed Orange Butterflies are found in central and southeastern Arizona and live in open woodlands and thorn scrub. Their host plants are Cassia species in the pea family on which caterpillars feed. Adults fly from mid-July through early January in Arizona and will feed on the nectar from many species of flowers.

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