Pine White (Neophasia menapia (Felder & Felder)
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 inches (4.5 - 5.8 cm).
Identification: Upperside of forewing has a mostly all white cell and black band along costal margin. Underside of hindwing has black veins. Female resembles male but is duller; hindwings often with red edges and tinged with yellow.
Life history: Males patrol near host trees for females. Eggs are laid stuck together in a row on a conifer needle. Caterpillars feed in groups when they are young and move apart when they are older. Caterpillars pupate at the base of the host tree after descending from the tree on a silken thread. Eggs hibernate.
Flight: One flight June-September.
Caterpillar hosts: Needles of various conifers including pines (Pinus species), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and true firs (Abies species).
Adult food: Flower nectar including rabbitbrush, other yellow-flowered composites, and monarda.
Habitat: Western coniferous forests.
Range: British Columbia east to Alberta, south through Rocky Mountain states and California to Mexico; range just extends into western South Dakota and western Nebraska.
Conservation: Not usually needed.
Management needs: Caterpillar outbreaks occasionally defoliate ponderosa pine stands (Pinus ponderosa).
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 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