The Dainty Sulphur butterfly is also commonly known as the dwarf yellow butterfly. It is the smallest sulphur native to North America. The upper surface of the wings is lemon yellow with black forewing tips and a black bar along the forewing edge. Males have a scent patch within the dark hindwing bar that is orange/red. Females have orange-yellow hindwings with more extensive black markings. Under the surface, the hindwings are yellow with greenish markings.

Dainty Sulphur” by Ken Slade, licensed under (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Dainty Sulphur Facts

Butterfly Family: Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Coliadinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 3/4 – 1 1/4 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Open, dry places including coastal flats, weedy fields, grasslands, road edges, meadows, and hillsides


Dainty Sulphur Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Plants in the Asteraceae Family
    • Shepherd’s Needle
    • Sneezeweed
    • Marigolds

Nectar Plants:

  • Nectar from various flowers
    • Asters
    • Marigolds
    • Fogfruit
    • Blanketflower
    • Sneezeweed