ABH 58.003

Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines

BF 1593

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Linnaeus, 1758
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Medium ; wingspan,
Range (male to female): 45-50mm
Fast Flying


Typically a Burrterly of early Spring Brassicaea

Male Orange-tips have white wings with vivid orange wing tips with a dark spot where the white and orange areas of the forewing meet. The distinctive males are usually seen continuously patrolling backward and forward along hedgerows searching for newly emerged females. They will often investigate anything white such as flower petals or pieces of paper.

Females are plainer white with black wing tips and are less frequently observed except when searching for flowers upon which to feed or larval food plants upon which to lay their eggs.

Both the male and female have mottled pattern of yellow and black scales on a white background on the underside of their wings. This provides camouflage similar to the effect of DPM when the butterfly is at rest on foliage with its wings closed.

Similars - Orange tips are absent in the female and is therefore easily in flight n mistaken for one of the other whites, especially the Green-veined White or Small White


Life Cycle

Adult Species are on the wing between mid-April and mid-June during which time, eggslaying occurs singly on a variety of foodplants in bright sunshine within damp meadows or road verges, disused railway lines and ditches. On hatching, the larvae immediately eat the egg shell before feeding on the host plant. The larvae eat the seeds, developing seed pods and flower-heads. By the fourth instar the larvae may devour upto 6 Garlic Mustard seed pods per day pausing every so often to rest. caterpillars of the Orange-tip are cannibalistic with a single Cuckooflower plant supporting only one larvae.



Damp grassy habitats or river banks where Cuckooflower ( Lady's Smock) is the primary larvae foodplant . It is common along hedgerows where Garlic or Hedge Mustard is found. were it will nectar





Anthocharis cardamines


Found close to rail track paterantion more grey


Male orange wing and larger female

Male and Larger female mating

Black wing tips visible also has a spot on

forewings a silmilar to small white on upper fore wings


Paternation of orange tips and wings on the male

A male visitor on the wing visits apair in copula attracted by the female
Canon PowerShot G6 Tv (Shutter Speed )1/1250 Av (Aperture Value) 5.0
ISO Speed 400