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Sleepy orange facts for kids

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Sleepy orange
Sleepy Orange, Megan McCarty47.jpg
Abaeis nicippe1.jpg
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
E. nicippe
Binomial name
Eurema nicippe
(Cramer, 1779)
  • Abaeis nicippe Cramer, 1779

Eurema nicippe, the sleepy orange, is a North American butterfly in the family Pieridae. It is also found in the West Indies, Costa Rica and Belize.


Eurema nicippe clustering
Sleepy oranges puddling on damp ground.

The sleepy orange is a bright orange butterfly with the upperside of the wings having wide black borders. The forewing coastal margin has a small, narrow black spot. Some people think that the sleepy orange got its name from the black spot that looks like a closed eye; others say that the sleepy orange is a misnomer because, when disturbed, the butterfly has a very rapid flight. The underside of the wings varies seasonally: summer forms are bright yellow with brick-red markings, while winter forms are browner and more heavily marked. It has a wingspan of 138–214 inches (35–57 mm).


The sleepy orange may be found in or around old fields, roadsides, woods edges, swamps, wet meadows, open woodlands, margins of ponds, waterways, and valleys.

Life cycle

The eggs are pale greenish yellow and turn red just before hatching. They are laid on the underside of the host plant leaves, or sometimes on flowers. The larva is fuzzy and grayish green, with a whitish-yellow side stripe. The chrysalis varies from green to brownish black. Adult sleepy oranges migrate south to spend the winter. They have two to four broods per year.

Host plants

Similar species

  • Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman (2003). Butterflies of North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN: 0-618-15312-8.
  • James A. Scott (1986). The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. ISBN: 0-8047-2013-4
  • Ernest M. Shull (1987). The Butterflies of Indiana. Indiana Academy of Science. ISBN: 0-253-31292-2
  • Rick Cech and Guy Tudor (2005). Butterflies of the East Coast. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN: 0-691-09055-6
  • David L. Wagner (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN: 0-691-12143-5

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Eurema nicippe para niños

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