Anthocharis cardamines

Orange Tip




Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class: Insecta (Insects)
Subclass: Pterygota (Winged Insects)
Order: Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Sub-Order: Rhopalocera (Butterflies)
Family: Pieridae (Whites)
Genus: Anthocharis
Species: cardamines
Anthocharis cardamines

The Orange Tip is a small white butterfly, with bright orange patches on the upper surface of the wings of the male. The tips of the wings are black. In the female, there is no orange, and the butterfly is white with a black spot and black and grey tips to the forewing. The hind wing on both sexes is plain white. The underside of the male has orange on the forewing as on the upper surface, but the underside of both sexes is otherwise white speckled with black and yellow which appears green. The photograph is the underside of a female which has no orange.

The caterpillar is bluish green with short bristles. The larval foodplant is, as the Latin name suggests, Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine pratensis), and other crucifers.

In gardens, the Orange Tip is one of the earliest butterflies to appear in spring, and visits Aubrieta. It is a flightly butterfly, and does not settle for long, moving on in long, often high, flights.

Back to Butterflies Main Page