Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Spring White
Pontia sisymbrii (Boisduval, 1852)


Family: Pieridae
Subfamily: Pierinae
Identification: Upperside of both wings with dark veins on white to creamy yellow background; front wing cell bar is narrow. Veins of underside of hindwing may be edged widely with olive.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3 - 4.5 cm).
Life History: Males patrol hilltops, ridges, or bottoms of canyons in search of females. Eggs are laid singly on any part of the host plants. Young caterpillars feed on leaves, older ones on flowers. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight from February-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) including hedge mustard (Sisymbrium), rock cresses (Arabis), and tansy-mustard (Descurainia) species.
Adult Food: Not reported.
Habitat: Desert hills and other dry slopes, rocky canyons and outcrops, roadsides, open coniferous forests.
Range: British Columbia south to Baja California, east to western Nebraska and western South Dakota.
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.
Comments: NULL