North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

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

Becker's White (Pontia beckerii)
distribution map
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