New Jersey Butterflies

Little Yellow

Eurema lisa

Identification: Very small—1.3" (much smaller than Clouded Sulphur). Below: Male is bright yellow with many small, dark spots. Two tiny black spots at base of forewing clinch the ID. Female is lighter yellow with larger, purplish spots. Rarely seen basking with open wings.

NJ Status and Distribution: Nonresident. Primarily a southern species that occurs as a regular stray in NJ. Reported from throughout the state but most frequently from the southern counties. Has a habit of establishing small, temporary colonies where the ephemeral host plant is common.

NJ Range Map-Little Yellow

Habitat: Open, often disturbed, habitats. Infrequently observed in gardens.

Flight Period: Where colonies have become established can be seen from spring into fall. Strays from the south are most often seen in late summer and early fall. Extreme dates: North Jersey 6/17—10/29; South Jersey 5/6—11/11.

Larval Food Plants: Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) and Wild Sensitive Plant (C. nictitans).

Overwintering Stage: No conclusive evidence that this species overwinters in any stage in NJ.

Best Locations: Higbee Beach WMA, Belleplain SF, Cape May NWR, Cape May Point SP.

Comments: More and more small colonies of Little Yellows have been popping up in recent years, even as far north as Orange County, NY.

Little Yellow

Delaware Water Gap NRA, Milford, PA, 9/11/10.