15 Types of Yellow Butterflies (With Pictures)

One of the most distinguishing features of butterflies is their wings, which come in various colors and patterns. Aside from flight, these brightly colored wings enable them to deter predators and communicate with other butterflies. Yellow is a common color in butterflies, and these species can be found all over the world. In this article, we’ll look at some of the different types of yellow butterflies that you can find in the United States and other parts of the world.

15 Types of yellow butterflies

Here is a list of 15 yellow butterflies, along with some information on them:

1. Zebra longwing

Zebra longwing on a yellow flower
Zebra longwing on a yellow flower | image by Renee Grayson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Heliconius charithonia

The zebra longwing is mostly found in Mexico, but you can also find it in Florida and Texas. They are medium-sized butterflies with wingspans that range from 7 to 10 cm. Their bodies are black or dark brown with pale yellow spots on their wings, with rows of stripes running down them.

2. Giant Swallowtail

Adult giant swallowtail butterfly
Adult giant swallowtail butterfly | image by John Flannery via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Scientific Name: Papilio cresphontes

The giant swallowtail is a North American butterfly. Their wingspan ranges from 14 to 18 cm, making them the continent’s largest butterfly. Both male and female butterflies have dark brown upper wings with yellow markings.

Their caterpillars typically feed on citrus trees and are skilled at disguising or camouflaging themselves as bird poop to avoid predators in the surrounding area.

3. Common Birdwing

Common birdwing on plants
Common birdwing on plants | image by Gido via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Troides helena

The common birdwing butterfly is native to Asia. It has a wingspan of up 14 – 19 cm. The hindwings of this species are golden yellow with black margins.

Females typically have a full row of black sub-marginal spots, whereas males only have one. They also have a wide range of motion, which allows them to flutter like birds in flight, hence their name.

Common birdwings can be found in jungles, forests, gardens, and even public parks.

4. Citrus Swallowtail

Citrus swallowtail on a flower
Citrus swallowtail on a flower | image by dotun55 via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Papilio demodocus

Citrus swallowtail butterflies, also known as Christmas butterflies, can be found throughout Africa. Their wings are black with yellow spots on the sides and a yellow line running through the center.

They can be found in various habitats, such as semi-deserts, forests, parks, and gardens, where they can be seen consuming flower nectar.

5. Peacock Pansy

Peacock pansy on a leaf
Peacock pansy on a leaf | image by Michael MK Khor via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Junonia almana

The peacock pansy is a type of yellow butterfly with a wingspan of up to 6.2 centimeters. This magnificent insect can be found in parts of India, China, and Southeast Asia.

The butterfly’s wings are yellow and orange in color. Its upper and hind wings both have orange eyespots that resemble eyes when viewed from above. It also has long, dark-brown antennae.

6. Cloudless Sulfur

Cloudless sulfurs landed
Cloudless sulfurs landed | image by Patricia Pierce via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Phoebis sennae

This cloudless sulfur butterfly has a large range that extends from the United States to Canada. You can find them in open areas like fields and meadows. Male cloudless sulfurs have distinct black spots on the border of their wings, whereas females are solid yellow in color.

Their caterpillar primarily feeds on the leaves and flowers of chamaecrista and senna genus plants. Some of these plants include partridge pea, Florida keys sensitive pea, and Maryland wild sensitive plant.

7. Dina yellow

Dina yellow on a twig
Dina yellow on a twig | image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr

Scientific Name: Eurema dina

The dina yellow is a type of yellow butterfly that you can find in Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and other parts of North America. Male dina yellow butterflies have bright yellow wings with a narrow black border on the upper side and black spots on the underside, making them easy to identify from a distance.

For the females, a black tip on the forewing can be seen on their wings, aside from their yellow color. These species prefer open forests and grassy fields, where they feed on the nectar of small flowers.

8. Yellow Angled-Sulfur butterflies

Yellow angled-sulfur butterfly
Yellow angled-sulfur butterfly | image by Charles J. Sharp via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Anteos maerula

The yellow-angled sulfur butterfly is a member of the Pieridae family and is common in Peru and Mexico, but You can also find it in Arizona, Texas, and Florida. You will usually see these butterflies in open and sunny areas.

It has hooked wings and a wingspan of 7 to 10 centimeters, with bright yellow and black spots. The larvae feed on plants in the pea family, while the adult prefers purple and red flowers.

9. Canadian Tiger Swallowtails

Canadian tiger swallowtail on a flower
Canadian tiger swallowtail on a flower | image by Under the same moon… via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Papilio canadensis

The Canadian tiger swallowtail is found in both Canada and Alaska. It is a North American butterfly with a wingspan up to 7.62 centimeters across and is smaller than Western Tiger Swallowtails. The upper side wings of this butterfly are yellow with black stripes.

You will also see distinct orange spots on their hindwing. The leaves of birch, black cherry, and aspen are primarily preferred foods for the caterpillars. Adult butterflies can be seen flying from May to July.

10. Western Sulphurs

Western sulphur on grass
Western sulphur on grass | image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Wikimedia Commons

Scientific Name: Colias occidentalis

The western sulfurs are a butterfly species native to North America that can be found in the wild in the western United States and parts of Canada.

This species is distinguished from other butterflies by its sulfur-yellow color and black border with pink fringes on the underside of its wings.

It also has wings that range in length from 2.5 to 5 cm long. Males will typically be seen flying around valleys or open areas where plants from the pea family are abundant in search of mates.

11. Little Yellow

Little Yellow
Little Yellow | image by John Flannery via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Scientific Name: Eurema lisa

This little yellow butterfly is an insect found in North America. They are distinguished by bright yellow wings with a black border and small black spots on the forewing.

These butterflies prefer dry, open habitats such as roadside ditches, sandy fields, abandoned fields, railroad tracks, and occasionally open woods. Adult butterflies consume flower nectar from the aster family. This species is usually seen flying from late spring to early fall.

12. Orange-barred Sulphur butterflies

Orange-barred sulphur butterflies
Orange-barred sulphur butterflies | image by Pavel Kirillov via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Phoebis philea

In North America, the orange-barred sulfur butterfly is fairly common and can be found in the US, Canada, and Mexico. It prefers low-lying areas like gardens, parks, and forest edges. The habitat of this species is open fields with plenty of flowers, as this is its primary source of food.

The orange-barred sulfur butterfly has yellow-orange wings that measure 2 to 4 inches in length. Black smudges can be seen on the upper side of each wing, and an orange color can be seen on the lower part of the hindwing.

13. Southern Dogface

Southern dogface
Southern dogface | by ALAN SCHMIERER

Scientific Name: Colias cesonia

The southern dogface is a yellow butterfly with a black border around its upper wing that gives it the appearance of a ‘dog head.’ It has a wingspan of about 5-7 centimeters.

Open habitats such as scrub oak groves, open woodland, and short-grass prairie hills are preferred by this butterfly. It is also common in North America, where it can be seen flying from May to June, July to August, and September to April.

14. Mexican Yellow

Mexican Yellow Butterfly in vertical position
Mexican Yellow Butterfly in vertical position | image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr

Scientific Name: Eurema Mexicana

Mexican yellow is a lovely butterfly with a 2.5 – 5 centimeters wingspan. It is native to Mexico and some parts of North America, including Texas, Arkansas, and Illinois.

It’s also known for the ‘dog face’ pattern on its white and yellow wings, which is accentuated by the black borders on its upper wings. Adult Mexican yellow butterflies are found in moister areas and feed primarily on nectar from a variety of flowers.

15. Thoas Swallowtail

Thoas swallowtail on a leaf
Thoas swallowtail on a leaf | image by Adam Skowronski via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Scientific Name: Papilio thoas

You can find these swallowtail butterflies from Mexico to South America. This species has medium-sized black wings with yellow spots on the hindwings and across the middle, and undersides with pale yellow color and dark-colored edges. This winged creature also has a wingspan that ranges between 10 and 12 cm.

You will find them on tropical forests and lowland edges, where they feed on the nectar of flowers, such as Bougainvillea, lantana, and stachytarpheta. Their caterpillars, on the other hand, feed on black pepper plants.