Orange-tip


Anthocharis cardamines – I had a very welcome vistor to the garden today, and she spent a while there dazzling me with her beauty. This was a first for me, so I was over the moon. The female Orange-tip can often be overlooked as one of the more familar Cabbage White butterflies, as she does not don the bright ‘orange-tip’ wings of the male, as can be seen in the final image which was taken a few years ago. One to look out for now as they have quite a limited flight season. Double-click image for a closer look.


Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines female

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) male

© Peter Hillman ♦ 14th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


31 thoughts on “Orange-tip

  1. Lovely images. I actually thought the first image WAS a Cabbage white butterfly. I had them wandering over my salad greens in my garden in recent days.

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    1. It also act’s as a warning Marilyn. The caterpillars eat plants which contain bitter mustard oils which make the butterfly rather distasteful to predators.

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  2. Lovely! I saw a male on the wing here over the weekend in the wood, but I don’t think I’ve ever had one in the garden. One of my favourite butterflies – it’s like its wings have been dipped in honey.

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    1. Thank you, Adele 🙂 They are one of my favourite butterfiles. First time visit for the garden. Actually this spring appears to be a first time for a few bugs lately 🙂

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  3. With a little imagination, there’s a hint of orange in the brownish patches toward the edges of the forewings and in the patches a but further in. But yes, the similarity of the little lady to her white cabbage cousin is definitely there.

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    1. This was really a nice find today as the females, although not as distinctive as the males, can be quite elusive. And to have one drop in the backyard was something 🙂

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    1. They can be tricky, especially in bright sunlight, so have to bring the ISO down to avoid the details from being blown clean out, Thank you very much! 🙂

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  4. Without the blog title I would have thought cabbage white also. That dorsal view of the make is a fine shot, Pete. Once again in Nature, the male is the pretty one. 😀

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    1. Yes, please do, Alison. The females can be a rarity, but they are around. Hard to tell exactly what they are until they land and you can get a closer look. The underwings of both sexes are mottled green which helps in id.

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  5. Well I didn’t know that. I thought all Orange Tips had orange tips. We often see these here but I’ll definitely look out for the females as well.

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  6. We all delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. I love your garden 🙂

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