Anthocharis cardamines

Orange Tip

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: cardamines

Valais, Switzerland, May 2015

Photo: cardamines

Valais, Switzerland April/ May 2010

The female lacks the distinctive orange patches of the male.

Field notes and information

A common sight across most of Europe as one of the earliest butterflies on the wing. It can also be encountered in July in alpine situations. The male is very distinctive.

Identification & Similar species: The orange tip of the male is a well known sight at roadsides, woodlands and meadows in early spring. It is the only Anthocharis with a pure white upperside ground colour. The female is rather less conspicuous, lacking the orange tips. It is also much less active meaning it is encountered much less frequently than the male.

Distribution & Flight: Throughout all of Europe except areas of north Scandinavia and south Spain. It is single brooded flying from early spring. At low levels this is March/ April to May, at alpine levels in June/ July.

Habitat & Behaviour: Hedgerows, woodland edges and flowery places at all levels to over 2000m. Males are frequently seen in gardens and roadsides and are easily separated from a distance by their orange tips.

Photo: cardamines

Valais, Switzerland April/ May 2010

Photo: cardamines

Valais, Switzerland April/ May 2010

Photo: cardamines

Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

Photo: cardamines

Valais, Switzerland May 2009

Photo: cardamines

Var, France, April 2008

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SW Serbia, June 2012

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2015

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2007

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Bouches du Rhône, France, April 2004 (m)

Photo: cardamines

Valais, Switzerland, May 2013