Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Great Southern White
Ascia monuste (Linnaeus, 1764)

Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Pierinae
Identification: Upper surface of male forewing white with black zigzag pattern on outer margin. Dry season female form resembles male with heavier black zigzag pattern and a small black spot in the wing cell. Wet-season female is darkened with black scales above and below.
Wing Span: 2 1/2 - 3 3/8 inches (6.3 - 8.6 cm).
Life History: Males patrol for females. Eggs are laid on the upper surface of host plant leaves in groups of about 20.
Flight: All year in South Texas, peninsular Florida, and along the Gulf Coast.
Caterpillar Hosts: Mustard family (Brassicaceae) plants including beach cabbage (Cakile maritima), cultivated cabbage and radish, peppergrass (Lepidium species); and plants in the caper family (Capparidaceae) including nasturtium.
Adult Food: Nectar from many species of flowers including saltwort, lantana, and verbena.
Habitat: Salt marshes, coastal dunes, open fields, and gardens.
Range: Resident of south Atlantic and Gulf coasts south through tropical America. Migratory along the Southeastern coast. Strays to Maryland, Kansas, and Colorado.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None noted.