Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea)

Male. Taken in the Vercors NP, France, on July 23rd 2018.
(1/1250th sec at f10. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female f. helice. Taken at Paklenica Nat Park, Croatia, on June 8th 2017.
(1/1000th sec at f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 54 - 63 mm

A fast-flying, bright yellow butterfly, the Clouded Yellow can sometimes be seen in large numbers but in other years is very rare. This is because numbers depend on migrants arriving from Europe.

It is most common in southern English coastal counties, but can be seen as far north as Scotland.

Clouded Yellows can be seen anywhere, but are most commonly encountered near the coast on fields of clover.

Adults are usually seen in May and June. These early immigrants may breed and give rise to one or two further generations.

The larval foodplants are leguminous plants, particularly Lucerne, Alfalfa, clovers and trefoils.

Adults will feed on Thistles and other nectar-rich grassland flowers.

Clouded Yellows fly very rapidly, but will pause to feed on flowers, particularly after they have flown across the English Channel.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.


16-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain (1)
15-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain (2)
14-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain (2)
13-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain (2+)
10-Oct-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
27-Sep-2018 : Chimney Meadows, Oxon (20+)
06-Aug-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
24-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
23-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
21-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
11-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

06-Aug-2017 : Cothill Fen, Oxon (1)
11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
09-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia
08-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Gracac, Croatia
06-Jun-2017 : Irinovac, Croatia

29-Aug-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (4)

22-Aug-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1m)
26-Jul-2015 : Baderitza, Bulgaria
25-Jul-2015 : Nr Dobrinishte, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : Mesta River fishponds, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : nr Sandanski, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : nr Petrovo, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : Rupite Hot Springs, Bulgaria
20-Jul-2015 : nr Samokov, Bulgaria