Species Page: Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

Sleepy Orange

Abaeis nicippe (Cramer, 1779)

Family: Pieridae

Status: Occasional stray

NENHP Ranking: Not listed

Range: A resident in the southern United from whence it strays north to southern Nevada and Utah in the west and the New England states in the east. In Nebraska it is most often encountered in the southern half of the state, although it has been found in Keya Paha County in the far north.

Larval Hostplant(s): Various legumes, including Partridge Pea and Wild Senna (Cassia fasciculata and C. marilandica), Hog Peanut (Amphicarpa bracteata) and Illinois Bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis), but probably preferring the Cassia species.

Broods/Flight Times: Flies entire year in the southern United States. In Nebraska the species has been recorded from 18 April – 27 August. Females arriving in the spring have produced two to three additional broods.

Overwintering: The Sleepy Orange does not appear to consistently survive our winters but fresh individuals early in the spring suggests it may occasionally happen (as a pupa).

Habitat: Adults are attracted to areas with hostplants. A suburban yard in central Nebraska with Cassia marilandica has recorded Sleepy Oranges for 10+ consecutive years.

Avg. Wingspan: 1 3/8 – 2 1/4 inches

Found at:

Similar Species: Mexican Sulphur and Little Yellow


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