Provence Orange Tip

Anthocharis euphenoides


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Anthocharis euphenoides

Male, Val d'Aran, Spain, July 2007



Male, Gibraltar, March 2013

Anthocharis euphenoides

Female, Val d'Aran, Spain, July 2005

Anthocharis euphenoides

Female, Val d'Aran, Spain, July 2005



Male, Val d'Aran, July 2011



Male, Gibraltar, March 2013



Male, Gibraltar, March 2013

Male, Gibraltar, February 2007

Male, Gibraltar, February 2007

Male, Gibraltar, February 2007

Female, Val d'Aran, July 2005

Male, Gibraltar, April 1983

Anthocharis euphenoides distribution

Distribution

In Spain, the South of France and parts of Italy, spring is marked not just by orange tips but by this equally lovely butterfly, the Provence Orange tip. At sea level and in the far south it flies from as early as February - it was one of the species I saw on my first, memorable walk around Gibraltar when I moved there the beginning of February 1983. In the Pyrenees, on the other hand, it is still roding the upland tracks at the end of July. Some books treat the Provence orange tip as a subspecies of the Moroccan orange tip, Anthocharis belia, which flies in North Africa. It is generally now considered to be a distinct species.

It is a truly delightful butterfly - the male a delicate lemon yellow, the female white with black and rusted orange wingtips. The underside of both sexes has rather limited green marbling on a yellowish ground. The similar eastern orange tip, from eastern Europe and Southern Italy, has more complete marbling on the underside. Gruner's orange tip, from the Balkans, also has more complete marbling and less yellow on both surfaces. There is no real possibility of confusion with either, as their ranges do not overlap with that of the Provence orange tip.

The eggs are laid on various Biscutella species, where the caterpillar feeds first on the flowers then the seed heads. They pupate on dead stems of the plant and spend the winter in this state.