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Dark Clouded Yellow / Common Clouded Yellow. Colias crocea (Geoffroy, 1785)

Diputación de Málaga
Amarilla, Colias croceus

Dark Clouded Yellow / Common Clouded Yellow. Colias crocea (Geoffroy, 1785)

Safe appearance Probable appearance
Animal Life > Butterflies

It is also known as Common Clouded Yellow. Wingspan: From 4.2 to 5.4 cm

Routes where it can be observed


Open wings: Both sexes are bright mustard yellow. The apex and the wings margins are black in the case of females. The hindwings have black margins that stretch to the anal angle. There is a big black spot on each of the frontwings. There are females, known for its spiral shape, which are white instead of yellow, and seem grey because of a lot of dark scales on their hindwings.

Closed wings: They are white or greenish with white dark-rimmed spots in the shape of an eight. Spiral-shaped females are similar to female Berger's Clouded Yellow butterflies.

Similar species

Berger's Clouded Yellow: When their wings are open, male butterflies are less bright than the above species, and females are white. The black margins on hindwings are thinner and shorter, as they do not reach the anal angle, and without dark scales on the inner part of the female wings. This is why they are lighter than spiral-shaped Dark Clouded Yellow. The yellow colour is duller when they close wings. Spiral-shaped female butterflies are very similar and difficult to distinguish.

Biology and Habitat

There are several generations of the species throughout the year. Populations grow in winter and spring when butterflies come from Africa, as well as in autumn thanks to the butterflies that proceed from Central and Northern Europe.

Due to their migratory character and the fact that their caterpillars feed on leguminous wild plants, they can be seen in diverse habitats, spreading from high altitudes to urban zones, such as parks and gardens. It can also be seen along the coast and close to the sea while it migrates to the north.

Distribution in the Great Path

These are one of the most common and numerous butterflies in Málaga. They can be seen all along the GMP, although less along the coast and in the north of the province.