Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Giant White
Ganyra josephina (Godart, 1819)


Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Pierinae
Identification: Large. Cell of upper forewing of male contains prominent round black spot. Wet-season female has black cell spot and also diffuse black postmedian spots. Veins outlined with black near wing margins. Dry-season female not so prominently marked.
Wing Span: 2 7/8 - 3 3/4 inches (7.3 - 9.6 cm).
Life History: Female lays single eggs on older host plant leaves, which the caterpillars then eat.
Flight: From September-December in south Texas.
Caterpillar Hosts: Trees in the caper (Capparidaceae) family.
Adult Food: Flower nectar including lantana, eupatorium, and bougainvilla.
Habitat: Open, dry, subtropical forests.
Range: South from south Texas through Mexico and Central America. A rare stray to Kansas and New Mexico.
Conservation: Not required for periodic stray.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None noted.
Comments: NULL

Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.