Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Pacific Orangetip
Anthocharis sara Lucas, 1852

Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Pierinae
Identification: Upperside of male forewing with large, orange-red spot; border of apex dark, narrow. Female spot smaller; dark border with white wedges. Underside of hindwing with scattered, dark-green marbling. Late spring individuals are larger with less black and hyave yellow green marbling below. Some individuals are yellow.
Wing Span: 1 1/16 - 1 1/2 inches (2.7 - 4.0 cm).
Life History: Males patrol, mostly in valleys, for females. Eggs are laid singly near tops of host plants. Young caterpillars feed on flower buds, older ones on flowers and fruits. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight during June in Alaska; primary flight on California coast from February-April with a second partial flight from May-June.
Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family especially rock cresses such as tower mustard. In California, presence of late flowering \"true\"" mustards (Brassica species) allows extended larval feeding and a partial second flight."
Adult Food: Flower nectar, including that of host mustards, thistles, fiddleneck, and brodiaeas.
Habitat: Open oak woods in hills, orchards, fields, meadows, streamcourses, canyons.
Range: Alaska coast south to Baja California mainly to west of Pacific divide.
Conservation: Conserve restricted populations.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Preserve host plant and flyway habitats.
Comments: NULL
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