May 19th Orange Tip Butterfly

A small butterfly has been seen around the Park, this is the first I have seen this butterfly and after I.D it turned out to be the Orange Tip

This butterfly has white uppersides to its wings. It is only the males that have orange-tipped forewings; females have small black tips. In both sexes the undersides of the hindwings are mottled with moss-green. The orange tips warn predators that this butterfly is highly distasteful.

Orange-tips are common throughout lowland England and Wales, but are rarer in Scotland. Females lay single, pale, spindle-shaped eggs on the underside of flower buds. These eggs turn deep orange after a few days.

The caterpillars hatch and feed on the developing seed pod. They are green and extremely hard to spot. Orange-tip caterpillars are cannibalistic, liable to eat another of their own species should they meet. Each caterpillar leaves its foodplant to overwinter as a chrysalis, probably in bushes and tall vegetation. Adults emerge in April.