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15 Yellow Butterflies in Texas

Texas is a big state with wide open spaces providing a home to all kinds of butterflies. Depending on their environment different butterflies adapt to different colors. In this article, we will learn about some of the yellow butterflies in Texas.

From vibrant bright yellow to pale, almost white-colored yellow, there are a wide variety of butterflies with an assortment of yellow colors in this state.

15 Yellow Butterflies in Texas

Each butterfly species has developed unique features and patterns to match its environment, so keep reading to learn more about yellow butterflies in Texas.

1. Cabbage White Butterfly

Cabbage white butterfly
Cabbage white butterfly | image by John Tann via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Pieris rapae

The cabbage white butterfly is not pure white despite the name. It’s actually a light yellow color. They’re often confused with cloudless Sulphur butterfly or clouded Sulphur butterfly.

Cabbage white butterflies are small, with a wingspan only measuring 1.3 to 1.9 inches. The dark spots on their wings identify them.

2. Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly

Cloudless sulphur
Cloudless sulphur

Scientific name: Phoebis sennae

The cloudless Sulphur butterfly is bright yellow with orange spots on its wings. They’re also orange along the edges of their wings and on their heads.

Females are duller in color. The adult’s wingspan reaches approximately 1.9 to 2.6 inches. Females are slightly larger than males.

3. Black Swallowtail

Eastern black swallowtail
Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly on pink flower | image by C Watts via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Papilio polyxenes

The black swallowtail is also called the American swallowtail or parsnip swallowtail. They are bright yellow and dark black wings, and they have brown bodies.

These butterflies are attracted to flowers but can also be seen feeding on nectar from other plants. You have likely seen these graceful butterflies because they’re so common.

4. Western Tiger Swallowtail

Western tiger swallowtail
A western tiger swallowtail  | image by Carlos Eduardo Joos via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Papilio rutulus

Western tiger swallowtails are recognizable by their bright yellow patterns with black stripes. In addition, they have beautiful blue and orange spots near their tail.

These butterflies love to be out flying around during the daytime hours. Their habitat is usually in open areas near water. They feed on nectar from flowers.

5. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern tiger swallowtail on plants
An eastern tiger swallowtail on plants | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Papilio glaucus

Eastern tiger swallowtails are some of the most widespread butterflies to see fluttering around flowers. As their name implies, they have tiger-striped patterns.

Males are identified by their four black tiger stripes on bright yellow wings. Females sometimes have small spots of orange on their undersides and are darker in color.

6. Lyside Sulphur Butterfly

Lyside sulphur butterfly
Lyside sulphur butterfly | image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr

Scientific name: Kricogonia lyside

The lyside Sulphur butterfly is pale yellow with delicate transparent wings. Colors can vary from yellow to pale pink and even greenish colored.

They are abundant in Texas and migrate to Arizona and Florida during rainy years. Caterpillars only feed on the Zygophyllaceae family of flowering plants.

7. Mexican Yellow Butterfly

Mexican yellow butterfly
Mexican yellow butterfly | image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr

Scientific name: Eurema mexicana

The Mexican yellow butterfly can be identified by its yellow wings and black splotches on the ends. In addition, they may have small dark spots on their wings.

Their wingspan ranges from 1.25 to 2.25 inches. They are found all over Texas and parts of northern Mexico. Mexican yellow butterflies live along woodland edges and grasslands.

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8. Anise Swallowtail

Anise swallowtail  perched on a flower
Anise swallowtail  perched on a flower | image by Allan Hack via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Papilio zelicaon

The Anise Swallowtail is a brightly colored butterfly found in Texas. The anise swallowtail is commonly seen during the spring and summer months. The wings are vibrant black, blue and yellow, with black tips on the wings.

Anise swallowtails are large butterflies with a wingspan that measures  2 to 3 inches. The anise swallowtail is a gentle butterfly that prefers to feed on nectar from flowers. The butterfly is typically found near flower gardens and orchards.

9. Orange Sulphur

Orange sulphur butterfly
Orange sulphur butterfly | image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr

Scientific name: Colias eurytheme

The orange sulphur butterfly is also known as the alfalfa butterfly because they are a severe pest for alfalfa farmers. They are in the same family as the cloudless and clouded sulphur.

As their name implied, the orange sulphur butterfly is more orange-tinted in color than the clouded and cloudless sulphur. They have similar spots and vein patterns, though.

10. Sleepy Orange Sulphur

Sleepy orange sulphur perched on a flower
A sleepy orange sulphur perched on a flower | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Abaeis nicippe

Sleepy orange sulphurs get their name from their flight patterns. They look like they’re half-asleep while fluttering about their territory and have an orange-tint to their yellow wings.

They also have spots on the underside of their wings. Sleepy orange sulphur butterflies are a common sight in Texas.

11. Two-tailed Swallowtail

Two-tailed swallowtail
Two-tailed swallowtail | image by Bob Danley via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Papilio multicaudata

The two-tailed swallowtail feeds on nectar from flowers and can be found near streams and rivers. They’re found in open and sunny areas.

These butterflies are primarily black and have blue and yellow stripes running the length of their wings. The two-tailed swallowtail also has a blue tail.

12. Statira Sulphur Butterfly

Statira sulphur butterfly in white background
A statira sulphur butterfly in white background | image by Didier Descouens via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Aphrissa statira

Statira sulphur butterflies are bright yellow with black along the front edges of their front wings. They have light spots on the underside of their wings. Females are usually duller colored.

The statira sulphur is known to migrate long distances. For example, they’re found in Texas and Florida and migrate to Brazil in large groups.

13. Mimosa Yellow

Mimosa yellow butterfly in vertical position
A mimosa yellow butterfly in vertical position | image by gailhampshire via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Pyrisitia nise nelph

Mimosa yellow butterflies are small, with a wingspan only measuring 1 to 2 inches. They’re a bright yellow color, and females are duller in color than males.

The mimosa yellow butterfly is found all over Texas and in Central America. They’re distinguishable from their cousins by not having black spots or black edges on their wings.

14. Yucca Giant-Skipper

Yucca giant-skipper
Yucca giant-skipper | image by Gary Leavens via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Megathymus yuccae

The yucca giant-skipper is a large butterfly with a wingspan that measures 2 to 3 inches. They get their name from their caterpillars feeding on yucca plants until pupation.

Yucca giant-skippers have dark-colored bodies and wings and yellow spots on the front wings. They also have yellow blotches on their hindwings.

15. Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Mourning cloak on trunk
Mourning cloak on trunk | Image by Erik Karits from Pixabay

Scientific name: Nymphalis antiopa

The mourning cloak butterfly is a beautiful silky black color with yellow on the edges of its wings. They also have blue spots along the yellow edge. They have a wingspan of 4 inches.

Mourning cloak butterflies are found all over Texas and the United States. They have some of the longest lifespans of any butterfly, known to live up to 11 to 12 months.