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.
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:
Hinchliff, J. 1996. The Distribution of the Butterflies of Washington. Evergreen Aurelians. Oregon State University Bookstore, Corvallis. 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. Pyle, R.M. 1974. Watching Washington Butterflies. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Wash. 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.