Specimen Spot – Lepidoptera

Pacific Orangetip (Anthocharis sara)

Pacific Orangetip
Resting at the edge of a garden on a particularly hot day.

The Pacific Orangetip butterfly (Anthocharis sara) is a native species to the Pacific coast, though rarely seen. Emerging in late March and flying until around mid-May, the Pacific Orangetip can be found along the west coast from Northern Mexico to Alaska in grassy hillsides and other dry habitats.

Pacific Orangetip (underwing exposed)
A blurry shot, but shows the marbled effect of the underwing.

Pacific Orangetips feed primarily on native plants in the mustard family (see here for a detailed list). The bright yellow-orange tip and marbled grayish underwings most likely help them camouflage when near their host plants.

Noteworthy: The Pacific Orangetip and the Stella Orangetip, which have slightly different coloration and range, used to be considered the same species and were called Sara Orangetip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s