New Jersey Butterflies

Falcate Orangetip

Anthocharis midea

Identification: Small—1.5" (noticeably smaller than Cabbage White). Above: Male is white with orange patch on outer forewing that is visible in flight. Female lacks the orange patch but has black spot in forewing and checkered fringes along both wing margins. Below: Male HW is heavily marbled with shiny golden highlights. Female is heavily marbled on both wings. FW is heavily hooked, especially in male.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Uncommon and local throughout.

NJ Range Map-Falcate Orangetip

Habitat: Open areas (including hayfields with Tower Mustard), woodland edges and openings.

Flight Period: One brood from early April to mid-June (see comments). Extreme dates: North Jersey 3/23—6/17; South Jersey 3/21—6/9.

Larval Food Plants: Several species of cress in the genus Arabis.

Overwintering Stage: Pupa.

Best Locations: Assunpink WMA, Mountainside Park, Flatbrookville, Jenny Jump SF (Summit Trail), Wheelabrator WR (Westville), Beaver Swamp WMA (South Dennis), Glassboro WMA.

Comments: Early emergers in April appear to lay eggs exclusively on rock cresses (primarily Arabis laevigata and A. lyrata), whereas later emergers in May lay eggs on the weedy Tower Mustard (A. glabra).



Falcate Orangetip

Male, Flatbrookville, Sussex Co., NJ, 5/16/10.


Falcate Orangetip

Female, Flatbrookville, Sussex Co., NJ, 5/28/05.


Falcate Orangetip

Male, Kittatinny Valley SP, Sussex Co., NJ, 5/3/06, on Lyre-leaved Rock Cress.


Falcate Orangetip

Female, Flatbrookville, Sussex Co.,NJ, 5/20/07, on Mouse-ear Chickweed.


Falcate Orangetip larva

Chrysalis on Tower Mustard (Arabis glabra).


Falcate Orangetip larva

Mid instar larva on Tower Mustard (Arabis glabra).


Falcate Orangetip egg

Egg on Smooth Rockcress (Arabis laevigata).


Falcate Orangetip

Egg on Tower Mustard (Arabis glabra).


Falcate Orangetip

Lyre-leaved Rock Cress (Arabis lyrata). This native spring wildflower is one of several species of crucifer that serves as a host plant for Falcate Orangetip.


Tower Mustard

Tower Mustard (Arabis glabra).