Scientific Classifications explained
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UK Nature > Butterflies > Anthocaris cardamines
Scientific Name: Anthocaris cardamines
Common Name: Orange Tip
Anthocaris cardamines, more commonly known as the Orange Tip, is a true sign of spring, being one of the first species to emerge that has not overwintered as an adult.
The male and female of this species are very different in appearance. The more-conspicuous male has orange tips to the forewings, that give this butterfly its name. These orange tips are absent in the female and the female is often mistaken for one of the other whites, especially the Green-veined White or Small White. Both have mottled green underwings.
This butterfly is found throughout England, Wales and Ireland, but is somewhat local further north and especially in Scotland. In most regions this butterfly does not form discrete colonies and wanders in every direction as it flies along hedgerows and woodland margins looking for a mate, nectar sources or foodplants. Both male and female photographed above are feeding on the flowers of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) which is also one of the known larval foodplants.
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