Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines
We had seen the Orange Tip before, but not since we bought our camera and established these pages. Luckily it came back in the spring of 2001. It is not easy to photograph the Orange Tip though, as it restlessly flies about. But of course even the Orange Tip is interested in some flowers and that gave us the opportunity to take some pictures. The one in our garden was not fresh anymore and had a piece of one wing missing, still the pictures are very representative of the species, which hibernates in its pupal stage, being able to appear as an imago at the end of March.
The Orange Tip is about the same size as the Mustard White, reaching a wingspan of 45 mm. It is on the wing from April to the beginning of June. There is just one generation each year. There's only one major difference between the females and the males: the females lack the orange tip. They do look like a common white, except for the marbled backside of the hind wing. This pattern is even visible when looking at the butterfly on top. The greenish caterpillar doesn't differ from most white caterpillars: it's almost hairless and greenish, with a white line running on the sides. In Small White caterpillars the line is yellow and situated more to the back of the animal. The Orange Tip is a common species all over Britain, Northern and Central Europe and Northern Asia, well established in China and Japan as well.