Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Orange-Tip 橙尖粉蝶 Anthocaris Sara (Family Pieridae, Whites and Sulpurs)

The meadows are lushly green; dew sparkles on the leaflets; the air is pleasantly warm and delightful; then, almost magically it seems, the carpets of new-born buttercups by the creeks come alive with the bright flashing of Orange-Tip wings. It is the spring brood of the Orange-Tip come with the first wave of real warmth to gladden the land with new beauty. The sharply-marked orange and black of the upper corners of the fore-wings, contrasting to abruptly with the white of the rest of the wings instantly mark this butterfly from all others save the rare Felder’s Orange-Tip, (A. ce-thura), which, however has much less black. Note also the soft leaf-like appearance of the under-wing markings. A rare from has the wings suffused with yellow. In the east the Falcate Orange Tip (Anthocaris genutia) with a hooked wing tip, is found in woods.

The Orange-Tip loves best the meadow lands and the low wooded hills. The Spring Form swarms along the Pacific coast but is rarer in the interior. The Summer Form is less common, but more widely distributed. The species is much influenced by heat and cold, producing odd color variations and numerous abberations.

The small-headed caterpillar feeds mainly on plants of the Cruciferae or Mustard Family. The caterpillars are inconspicuous and their green color merges closely with the plants. The light brown chrysalids are carefully hidden among the dry stalks or in crevices of bark.

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