Colias erate

English name:
Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow
Full scientific name:
Colias erate (Esper, 1805)
Croatian name:
Limunasti poštar

Red Book Category in EU: LC

Red Book Category in Croatia: NE

Wings span: 39-50 mm

Flight Period and Life Cycle

Flight period of Colias erate in Croatia
Flight period of Colias erate in Croatia

Few broods per year. Overwinters as caterpillar.

Distribution in Croatia

Distribution of Colias erate in Croatia
Distribution of Colias erate in Croatia

More common in the continental part of Croatia. Published observations from the last 15 years are marked on the map. Check the included map. There are more numerous older observations.

External Morphology Characteristics

The wings of Colias erate are yellow, but they are lighter and have a more lemon-like color compared to the wings of Colias croceus. Additionally, the dark border on the upper side of the forewing in Colias erate is slightly narrower than that of Colias croceus. The white form of Colias erate females is also present, similar to that in females of Colias croceus. The mature caterpillar of Colias erate has two yellow stripes with small black spots.


It has migratory abilities. Imago feeds with nectar of various flowers. When lands, it keeps wings closed.

Caterpillar Host Plants

Family Fabaceae. More common on Medicago sativa.


More common on the moist cultivated areas. Elevations: 0-500m.


Z. Lorković, S. Siladjev, R. Kranjčev: Die Einwanderung von Colias erate (Esper, 1804) nach Mittleuropa in den Jahren 1989 und 1990, Ihre Uberwinterung, Polymorphismus und Genetik 89-102. Journal Atalanta, 1992, Volume 23, 89-102
T. Koren, S. Krčmar, T. Dretvić: Contribution to the knowledge of butterflies of Bansko brdo. Entomol. Croat. 2012, Vol. 16, Num 1-4: 41-61
T. Koren, G. Letić: Butterfly fauna (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) of Donji Emovci, Požega, Croatia. Natura Sloveniaea 16(2): 5-16, 2014

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