North American Ecology (US and Canada)
occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) 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.
Comments: Open areas: old fields, open pine woods and edges, scrub, canyons. Hosts in family Fabaceae, esp. Cassia, Trifolium. Vagrants in any open habitat.
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Flowering Plants Visited by Eurema nicippe in Illinois
(observations are from Robertson; this butterfly is the Sleepy Orange)
Asteraceae: Aster pilosus sn (Rb), Cirsium vulgare sn (Rb), Erigeron philadelphicus sn (Rb); Brassicaceae: Cardamine bulbosa sn (Rb)
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Abaeis nicippe
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Abaeis nicippe
Public Records: 7
Specimens with Barcodes: 43
Species With Barcodes: 1
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eurema nicippe
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Reasons: One of most abundant pierids in southern U.S. A wide- ranging weedy species.
Degree of Threat: D : Unthreatened throughout its range, communities may be threatened in minor portions of the range or degree of variation falls within natural variation
Global Protection: Many to very many (13 to >40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed
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 forewing coastal 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 13⁄8–21⁄4 inches.
The Sleepy Orange may be found in or around old fields, roadsides, woods edges, swamps, wet meadows, open woodlands, margins of ponds, waterways, and valleys.
The eggs are pale greenish-yellow and turn red just before hatching. They are laid on the underside of the host plant leaves, or sometimes on flowers. The larva is fuzzy and grayish-green, with a whitish-yellow side stripe. The chrysalis varies from green to brownish black. Adult Sleepy Oranges migrate south to spend the winter. They have 2–4 broods per year.
Here are a list of host plants for the Sleepy Orange:
- Partridge Pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata
- Wild Sensitive Plant, Chamaecrista nictitens
- Senna bebecarpa
- Privet Senna, Senna ligustrina
- Senna marilandica
- Senna mexicana
- Senna obtusifolia
- Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman (2003). Butterflies of North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-15312-8.
- James A. Scott (1986). The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. ISBN 0-8047-2013-4
- Ernest M. Shull (1987). The Butterflies of Indiana. Indiana Academy of Science. ISBN 0-253-31292-2
- Rick Cech and Guy Tudor (2005). Butterflies of the East Coast. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN 0-691-09055-6
- David L. Wagner (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN 0-691-12143-5
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