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Butterflies of Montana -- Anthocharis stella

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Montana

Stella Orangetip (Anthocharis stella)
JPG -- species photo

Stella Orangetip (Anthocharis stella Lucas)

Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 7/8 inches (3.5 - 4.8 cm).

Identification: Upperside of male forewing with large, orange-red spot; border of apex dark, narrow. Female spot smaller; dark border with white wedges. Underside of hindwing with scattered, olive-green marbling. Some individuals are yellow.

Life history: Males patrol, mostly in valleys, for females. Eggs are laid singly near tops of host plants. Young caterpillars feed on flower buds, older ones on flowers and fruits. Chrysalids hibernate.

Flight: One flight from late March to mid-August, primarily mid-June through mid-July.

Caterpillar hosts: Plants in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family including tansy-mustard (Descurainia), hedge mustard (Sisymbrium) and rock cresses (Arabis) species.

Adult food: Flower nectar, including that of host mustards, violets, thistles, fiddleneck, and brodiaeas.

Habitat: Deserts, open woods, orchards, fields, meadows, stream courses, canyons.

Range: Alaska coast south to Baja California, east to North Dakota, New Mexico, extreme western Texas.

Conservation: Conserve restricted populations.

Management needs: Preserve host plant and flyway habitats.

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:

Opler, P. A.  1999. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin
     Co., Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates.

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:

Elrod, M.J. 1906. The Butterflies of Montana. Bulletin of the University of
     Montana 30: 1-174.

Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 

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

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

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Stella Orangetip (Anthocharis stella)
distribution map
map legend

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