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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

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I had seen the Orange Tip in my garden a couple of times in the past, but not often enough to easily capture it with the camera. Luckily shortly after I bought my first digital macro camera and established these pages this butterfly visited my garden in the spring of 2001. It is relatively difficult to photograph the Orange Tip as it restlessly flies all over the garden make the photographer chase it with more dispare than the actual results to show you here. The patient photographer will finally be rewarded with a brief chance when the Orange Tip will finally land on some flowers nearby giving an opportunity to take several pictures. The Orange Tip in my garden was slightly weatherbeaten and a piece of one wing was 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.
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