Clouded Yellow

Colias croceus (Geoffroy, 1785)



A medium sized yellow butterfly with a prominent black margin on the upperside, which can be seen on the underside. There is also a very pale yellow form. The butterfly always rests with its wings closed. Males and females are similar, with the female has yellow spots in the black margin. There is a single black discal spot on the forewing, and an orange discal spot on the hindwing. The pale coloured helice form, could be confused with butterflies in the genius Pieris whilst in flight.

Habitat Requirements

Given that this butterfly is a strong migrant it comes as no suprise to see it just about anywhere on the island. However, it is frequently seen more on the coast and less likely in urban environments.

Larval Foodplants

Milk-vetch Astragalus boeticus (pale sulphur yellow/white flowers), Wild Liquorice Astragalus glycyphyllos Milk-vetch Astragalus hamosus (pale yellow flowers), Montpellier Milk-vetch Astragalus monspessulanus (mauve flowers), Milk-vetch Astragalus pelecinus (lilac/white flowers), Milk-vetch Astragalus sempervirens (pink/white flowers), Astragalus suberosus, Rush-like Scorpion Vetch Coronilla juncea, Annual Scorpion Vetch Coronilla scorpioides, Scorpion Senna Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca, Hippocrepis biflora, Hippocrepis ciliata, Hippocrepis emerus subsp. emeroides, Slender Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus angustissimus, Lotus conimbricensis (white flowers), Lotus cytisoides, Edible Lotus Lotus edulis, Lotus halophilus, Lotus longisiliquosus, Lotus ornithopodioides, Lotus palustris, Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus pedunculatus, Lotus peregrinus, Lotus preslii, Narrow-leaved Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus tenuis, Black Medick Medicago lupulina, Hairy Medick Medicago polymorpha, Lucerne Medicago sativa, Furrowed Melilot Melilotus sulcatus, Red Clover Trifolium pratense, Vicia cordata, Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca, Spring Vetch Vicia lathyroides (2-tone purple flowers), Yellow Vetch Vicia lutea, Vicia parviflora, Vicia peregrina, Vicia pubescens, Common Vetch Vicia sativa subsp. sativa, Vicia tenuifolia, Vicia villosa.


Whilst this species is probably breeding throughout the year on Corfu, population numbers must be massively affected by migration events. It regularily nectars on Knapweed Centaurea spp., Dandelion Taraxacum spp., Fleabane Erigeron spp., Marjoram Origanum vulgare and Ragwort Senecio jacobaea.

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Clouded Yellow submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 01/01/2023 30/01/2023 29 days
2022 02/01/2022 30/12/2022 362 days
2021 06/02/2021 31/12/2021 328 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 406
2022 1901
2021 556
Grand Total 2863

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Clouded Yellow (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023 submitted online since 1st January 2023 to 31st January 2023.

Flight Times for the Clouded Yellow (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month based on all data submitted online since 1st January 2019 to 31st January 2023.


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Clouded Yellow
  • Family: Pieridae (Swainson, 1820)
  • Sub-family: Coliadinae (Swainson, 1827)
  • Tribe: Coliadini (Swainson, 1827)
  • Genus: Colias (Fabricius, 1807)
  • Species: croceus (Geoffroy, 1785)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.