Peak White

Pontia callidice


HOME

Pontia callidice

Male, Switzerland, July 2013

Pontia callidice

Female, Switzerland, July 2013

Pontia callidice

Male, Switzerland, July 2013

Pontia callidice

Female, Switzerland, June 2007

Pontia callidice

Male, Switzerland, July 2006

Pontia callidice

Female, Switzerland, June 2007

Pontia callidice

Switzerland, June 2005

Pontia callidice distribution

Distribution

The peak white is closely related to the Bath whites but exclusively a creature of high mountains, both in the Alps and the Pyrenees, flying in a single brood mainly in June and July, extending into August. Like its relatives it is a fast flier, wary of approach and not easy to photograph.

The underside hindwing is rather beautiful and absolutely distinctive when seen, being marked with sweeping chevrons on a green ground. Nothing else looks similar. From the upperside, the male resembles a rather weakly marked Bath white, while the female looks like a heavily marked one! But the whole character of the butterfly is so different - and the peak white is bigger - that confusion is very unlikely. If you are on high alpine tundra and a white zooms past it is most likely this species.

Eggs are laid on various plants in the cabbage family and the species passes the winter as a chrysalis, well protected beneath the snow!