Falcate Orangetip, a tiny butterfly that’s common in spring

Falcate Orangetip

Falcate Orangetips are one of the earliest butterflies to fly in the season, gracing our roadsides in March and April. They waver in flight from side to side and close to the ground. The male has a patch of orange in the wingtip area on the top of the wing. When the wings are closed, they look mottled and gray. Host Plants include cresses and mustards.

Falcate OrangetipEggs are small (1mm x 0.4mm) and elongated on the underside of leaves, greenish yellow to pale orange. The caterpillar is 7/8″ long, dark greenish with a white stripe.  This page has photos of the eggs and caterpillar.  (I keep hoping to find them myself, though.)

“>The National Audubon Society’s Field Guide to Butterflies describes the butterfly like this:

The name falcate refers to the hooked tip of the forewing. Population levels of this butterfly fluctuate from year to year, and can easily drop to zero when woodlands are developed.

Falcate Orangetip

This butterfly is only around for a few short weeks, so be sure to go find a pair along Old House Lane or Dewees Inlet Drive.

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