Mountain Clouded Yellow (Colias phicomone)

Female. Taken in the Vercors NP, France, on July 24th 2018.
(1/1000th sec at f14. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 40 - 50mm

The male Mountain Clouded Yellow has greenish-yellow upper surfaces, heavily dusted with grey. The hindwing underside is yellowish-green with a white spot bordered with red. Upper surfaces are rarely seen at rest.

It occurs in Europe in mountainous areas: Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees and Alps. It is a European endemic.

It is found in alpine and sub-alpine meadows and pastures and mountain slopes, usually between 1000 and 2500m.

There is usually one generation a year from June to August, but in some years there is a partial second brood. The caterpillars hibernate after their second moult.

Various leguminous plants are used as larval foodplants, including Horseshoe Vetch, White Clover, Common Birdsfoot-trefoil and vetches.

It is classed as Near-threatened in Europe owing to population decline.


24-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
22-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France