Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

West Virginia White
Pieris virginiensis (W.H. Edwards, 1870)

Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Pierinae
Identification: Wings are translucent, whitish, with no yellowish tint underneath. Underside of hindwings with blurry brown or pale gray scaling along veins.
Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/8 inches (4.5 - 5.3 cm).
Life History: Males patrol slowly to locate females. Eggs are laid singly on undersides of host plant leaves. Chrysalids hibernate on stems or plant litter under the plant.
Flight: In the North, one flight in May; in the South, one flight from April-May.
Caterpillar Hosts: Toothworts (Dentaria diphylla and D. laciniata) in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family.
Adult Food: Flower nectar from toothworts, spring beauty, violets, and other plants.
Habitat: Moist deciduous woodlands or mixed woods.
Range: Northern Great Lakes states and from New England southwest along the Appalachians to north Georgia and northeast Alabama.
Conservation: A species of native, relatively undisturbed habitats. Declining due to timbering, development, and spread of garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis).
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Control spread of garlic mustard. Ensure timbering intensity allows recovery of sufficient habitats on local scale.
Comments: NULL