Sleepy Orange

Abaeis nicippe

Summary 7

The Sleepy Orange was formerly placed in the genus Eurema, but recent taxonomic studies now places it in the genus Abaeis (Opler and Warren, 2003).

Opler, P. A. and A. D. Warren. 2003. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico.

Description 8

For a key to the terms used, see Lepidopteran glossary

The Sleepy Orange is a bright orange butterfly with the upper side of the wings having wide black borders. The forewingcoastal margin has a small, narrow black spot. Some people[who?] think that the Sleepy Orange got its name from the black spot that looks like a closed eye; others say that the Sleepy Orange is a misnomer because, when disturbed, the butterfly has a very rapid flight. The underside of the wings varies seasonally: summer forms are bright yellow with brick red markings, while winter forms are browner and more heavily marked. It has a wingspan of 138–214 inches.

Larval Description 7

Essentially the same as the Little Yellow. Abdomen with annules; pale greeen; hairy; lateral line white or white edge with black ventrally.

Larval host plant 7

Cassia species in the pea family (Fabaceae).

GTM Occurrence 7

There is only a single record of the Sleepy Orange at the GTM. It was observed in the open habitat of Transect A during November, 2009, the same time that there were over a hundred specimens of the Little Yellow. These two species are very similar and this could be a misidentification of the Little Yellow.

Distribution 9

Global Range: Throughout the southern and southwestern United States, north to Colorado. Migrates northward east of the Rockies. Also extends south to Brazil. Limit of year round residency in United States is unclear.

Habitat 10

Comments: Open areas: old fields, open pine woods and edges, scrub, canyons. Hosts in family Fabaceae, esp. Cassia, Trifolium. Vagrants in any open habitat.

Nature serve conservation status 11

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: One of most abundant pierids in southern U.S. A wide- ranging weedy species.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) David Bygott, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve,
  3. (c) Jerry Oldenettel, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  4. (c) Dave Wilson, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  5. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve,
  6. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve,
  7. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  8. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  9. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  10. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  11. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),

More Info

iNat Map

Category name rare
Member of the iNaturalist Network   |   Powered by iNaturalist open source software |   Documentation for developers