Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines

Habitat

The Orange-tip is found in many habitats including hedgerows, along roadside verges, gardens, damp meadows and edges of woods.

Identification

Males are unmistakeable with the large orange tips to their forewings and can be easily identified, even in flight. Females, however, can be confused with Small and Green-veined Whites but the underwings of both male and female are very characteristic with their dappled green and white pattern.

Flight times

There is normally only one generation a year. Adults emerge in the third week of April, but can be earlier, and the flight period usually continues until mid-June.

Food plants

Eggs are laid singly on Cuckooflower, Garlic Mustard and other crucifers.

Orange-tip
Female Orange-tip - © Simon Jenkins.

Distribution Maps

2005-2009
Orange-tip distribution map 2005-09
2010-14
Orange-tip distribution map 2010-14
2015
Orange-tip distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 542
First sighting 04/04/2015
Last sighting 29/09/2015
2016
Orange-tip distribution map 2016
2016 Summary
No of tetrads 570
First sighting 25/03/2016
Last sighting 29/08/2016

Photo Gallery


Similar or Easily Confused Species and ID Hints

The male Orange-tip is unmistakable with its bright orange wing tips and patrolling flight, along paths and woodland edges. The female, however, can be difficult to distinguish from either the Small White or Green-veined White whilst in flight. Whilst at rest the patterning on the rear underwing is distinctive and cryptic.

Green-veined White Pieris napi

Green-veined White are usually found in similar habitats but the underwing patterning is less intense and the upper wing tip markings are paler and not as extensive.

Small White Pieris rapae

Small White are usually smaller and have paler and less extensive wing-tips than the female Orange-tip. The underside of the rear wing is a plain yellow.

Green-veined White
Green-veined White - female - © Christine Maughan
image of Small White
Small White - female - © Christine Maughan