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Genus Pontia - Checkered Whites

Checkered white for California in June - Pontia protodice - female white butterfly - Pontia protodice - female Checkered White - Pontia protodice caterpillar - Pontia occidentalis Pontia - Pontia protodice - female Checkered White - Pontia protodice - male butterfly - Pontia protodice Checkered White - Pontia protodice
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Pieridae (Whites, Sulphurs, Yellows)
Subfamily Pierinae (Whites)
Tribe Pierini (Cabbage Whites, Checkered Whites, Albatrosses)
Subtribe Pierina
Genus Pontia (Checkered Whites)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Pontia Fabricius 1807. Type species: Papilio daplidice Linnaeus
Mancipium Hübner [1807] [rejected name 214, ICZN Op. 137]. Type species: Papilio hellica Linnaeus
Synchloe Hübner [1818]. Type species: Papilio callidice Hübner
Mancipium Stephens 1827. Type species: Papilio daplidice Linnaeus [= Pontia hellice (Linnaeus)]
Parapieris de Nicéville 1897. Type species: Papilio callidice Hübner
Leucochloe Röber 1907. Type species: Papilio daplidice Linnaeus
Pontieuchloia Verity 1929. Type species: Papilio chloridice Hübner
Closely related and likely should be classed as a subgenus or synonym:
Baltia Moore 1878. Type species: Mesapia shawii Bates
There appear to be at least three very distinct groups of species, which could be considered as subgenera or perhaps as distinct genera. We probably have species belonging to all three (further comment below).
The Daplidice Group (true Pontia) includes the names P. beckeri, P. chloridice, P. daplidice, P. edusa, P. glaudonome, and perhaps the African P. distorta & P. helice. Distinction of P. edusa from P. daplidice is dubious.
The Callidice Group (=Synchloe) includes P. callidice, P. occidentalis, and P. protodice. Species limits and distributions in this group are not clear, are debated, and require further study.
The Shawii Group (=Baltia) is an Asian group, traditionally treated as if a distinct genus, which includes the names Baltia butleri, B. shawii, and likely also our own Pontia sisymbrii. However, there has been no study to date to prove the relationship of North American P. sisymbrii to the other two Asian species.
Numbers lists four North American species in this genus.
Primarily Holarctic (North America and Eurasia), but with a few species in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mostly found in open sunny, often disturbed areas where host plants in Brassicaceae, Resedaceae, and/or Cleomaceae.