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Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines (Linnaeus, 1758)

Cambridge: Byron's Pool nature reserve TL437547. 5 May 2009, male.

Anthocharis cardamines Anthocharis cardamines

Smaller than most pierids, only the males have the orange tips. The underside of both sexes have the camouflage pattern which is very effective when resting as here on an umbellifer. The larvae feed on the flowers of wild crucifers including garlic mustard, charlock and honesty.

Small white Pieris rapae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Pieris rapae
  • Cambridge, 25 May 2002.
  • One of the dreaded "Cabbage Whites" and a serious pest
  • The caterpillars are solitary and feed in the hearts of cabbages

Green-veined white Pieris napi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Cambridge (l) 14 Jul 2001, male; (r) 11 May 2002.

Pieris napi Pieris napi

Unlike its close relatives P. brassicae and P. rapae the larvae do not favour cultivated brassicas, feeding on other wild crucifers instead.

Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni (Linnaeus, 1758)

Gonepteryx rhamni
  • Cambridge, Old St Ives Railway TL468612, 12 Aug 2002.
  • Often the first butterfly seen in spring as males emerge from hibernation as early as February.
  • Adults emerging in summer feed without mating to prepare for their own hibernation.
  • Larvae feed on Buckthorn.

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