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Pontia edusa

Eastern Bath White

Field Notes

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2010


S Greece, July 2007


Eastern Bath White
Pontia edusa

Introduction: There are, apparently, two species of Bath White in Europe and N Africa - Pontia daplidice and Pontia edusa. The differences appear to be biochemical. So to all intents and purposes the species are impossible to separate except in the high tech laboratory. Both species will be treated as one here.

Distribution: Most of Europe, migrating northwards into S UK (very rare), N Germany and S Scandinavia. Migrating individuals from the south presumable reinforce existing populations further north.

The split between daplidice and edusa occurs roughly along the eastern border of France. To the west is daplidice, to the east is edusa. North Africa hosts daplidice. Often common but can crop up just about anywhere as singletons.

Identification: As for Bath White Pontia daplidice: Superficially similar to the Dappled Whites, Euchloe species plus the other Bath Whites. Follow this link for the to the Pontia species.

Flight time: As for Bath White Pontia daplidice: Flies from the beginning of spring (e.g. March in S Europe, later further north) until late summer and becoming more frequent as the year progresses.

Habitat: As for Bath White Pontia daplidice: Can appear just in about any open grassy or flowery place. Typically around bare ground with the foodplant Reseda sp. (e.g. Weld, Mignonette). Bare ground could be stony or rocky places or disturbed ground around cultivated areas or roadsides. Also takes various Brassicaceae (Cabbages).

Behaviour: As for Bath White Pontia daplidice: This is a very strong flier. It is usually seen flying very rapidly and directly across usually dry places with grass or stones. It is attracted to flowers but only stays briefly before flying on. In the morning though it can be found warming up on rocks in the sun when close approach is easiest.

In flight it can be separated with with 90% certainty from the Dappled Whites - not sufficient for recording purposes but a good indication. This species flies with shorter, faster wing beats and the wings appear more pointed when in flight than the Dappled Whites.

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

Female laying.