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Butterflies of California -- Pontia beckerii

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of California

Becker's White (Pontia beckerii)
JPG -- species photo

Becker's White (Pontia beckerii [W. H. Edwards])

Wing span: 1 5/8 - 2 inches (4 - 5 cm).

Identification: Upperside of both male and female is white, with black spots near tip of forewing. Inside the forewing cell is a square black bar with a curved white center. The underside of the hindwing of both sexes has wide green edging along the veins, confined by a white median band.

Life history: Males patrol ravines in search of females. Females lay eggs singly on host stems, buds, leaves, flowers, and fruits.

Flight: Several flights from March-October.

Caterpillar hosts: Plants of mustard (Brassicaceae) family including mustards (Brassica), and hedge mustard (Sisymbrium) species; and bladder-pod (Isomeris arborea) in the caper family (Capparidaceae).

Adult food: Flower nectar including hedge mustard and alfalfa.

Habitat: Arid brushlands, desert foothills and canyons, fields.

Range: British Columbia and Alberta south to Baja California; east of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, east and south to western Montana and New Mexico.

Conservation: Not required.

Management needs: None required.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

References:

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford  University 
      Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin
       Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja 
     California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los 
     Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from 	Entomological Reprint 
     Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.]

Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California.
     Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif.

Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies.
     Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida.

Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. 
     Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26.

Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies.  California Natural
     History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los 
     Angeles.
     
Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal
     of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35.     

Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal
     of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296.     

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of 
     Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History 
     of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State 
     University, Masters Thesis.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California 
     Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and 
     Los Angeles.
Becker's White (Pontia beckerii)
distribution map
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