Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Anthocharis midea (Hübner)
Orig. Comb: Mancipium midea Hübner 1809
Males are distinctive in eastern North America. A small "white" with orange wing-tips. Females are somewhat larger with no orange on wings. Both have marbled undersurface of hindwing and dark dots on forewings. Flies in early spring, and usually adjacent to woodlands.
mostly: Mar-May (BG data)
Adults take nectar from spring wildflowers, such as Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica), Toothwort (Dentaria), and Violets (Viola).
Males patrol for females and don't seem to stop to nectar very often. Males are usually seen first in the spring (pers. observation, P. Coin, Durham, NC). Larvae feed on plants of mustard family (Brassicaceae). These include rock cress Arabis, winter cress Barbarea, and toothwort, Cardamine (Dentaria). One egg is laid per plant. Caterpillar pupates by late spring. Spends most of year as a chrysalis. Some individuals spend a second winter in the chrysalis stage.
The spring butterfly that accompanies the spring ephemeral wildflowers in the eastern deciduous forests. A little flighty and difficult to photograph.
The Butterflies of North America (1)
Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East (2)
Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides) (3)
Allen, Butterflies of West Virginia (4)
Butterflies of North Carolina (5)