Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on May 1st 2018.
(1/1600th sec at f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male underside. Taken at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon., on Apri 17th 2016.
(1/640th sec at f16. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female. Taken at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon on April 10th 2011.
(1/250th sec at f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female underside. Taken at Pewsey Downs, Wilts, on June 1st 2013.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Mating pair. Taken at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon., on May 5th 2012.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 2.25x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 43 - 51 mm

The Orange-tip exhibits significant sexual dimorphism. The male has the bright orange forewings tips that gives this butterfly its name. The orange tips are absent in the female. Both sexes have an intricate underside pattern of green blotches formed by a combination of yellow and black scales. When at rest on a flowerhead of the foodplant this butterfly so well camouflaged that an adult resting just a few feet away can easily be missed.

This species is found throughout most of the British Isles, having expanded its range in recent years.

The Orange-tip has a wide range of habitats which include country lanes, hedgerows, riverbanks, woodland margins and rides, and damp meadows. It will also turn up in gardens.

There is usually a single brood each year, with adults flying from the beginning of April, through May and into June. There can be a partial second brood in August in good years. The pupa is the over-wintering stage.

The main larval foodplants are Cuckooflower and Garlic Mustard.

Adults take nectar from flowers such as Garlic Mustard, Cuckooflower and Bluebell.

The males spend a lot of time patrolling along hedgerows and damp woodland rides in search of females.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.


02-Jun-2019 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
01-Jun-2019 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (1m)
13-May-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6m,2f)
12-May-2019 : Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks (5m)
12-May-2019 : Pitstone, Bucks (2m,1f)
11-May-2019 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (2m,1f)
11-May-2019 : Abingdon, Oxon (4m,3f)
07-May-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1m)
04-May-2019 : Gilfach Farm, Powys (1m)
01-May-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (3m)
30-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2m)
30-Apr-2019 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3m,3f)
29-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2m,1f)
29-Apr-2019 : Standlake Common, Oxon (5m,1f)
26-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
26-Apr-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (3m)
25-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m,1f)
23-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2m,1f)
22-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3m,1f)
21-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3m)
21-Apr-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (5m,3f)
20-Apr-2019 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (4m)
20-Apr-2019 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (7m,1f)
20-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (6+m,2f)
19-Apr-2019 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (5m)
19-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3m,2f)
18-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3m)
18-Apr-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (16+m,1f)
17-Apr-2019 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (8+m,1f)
17-Apr-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1m)
15-Apr-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
15-Apr-2019 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (15+m,3f)
01-Apr-2019 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)
01-Apr-2019 : Magdalen College, Oxford, Oxon (4)
30-Mar-2019 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (8m)
30-Mar-2019 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4m)
29-Mar-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)

08-Jun-2018 : Barnwell Country Park, Northants (1m)
06-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1f)
03-Jun-2018 : Stockbridge Down, Hants (1m,1f)
02-Jun-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1m)
27-May-2018 : Ardley Quarry, Oxon (1m)
27-May-2018 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (1m)
22-May-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2m)
20-May-2018 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1m)
18-May-2018 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (6m)
17-May-2018 : Sandford Brake, Oxon (6m,1f)
15-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1f)
15-May-2018 : Cholsey Marsh, Oxon (4m,1f)
14-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (12m,1f)
13-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (5m,1f)
13-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1f)
09-May-2018 : Whelford Pools, Glos (1m,2f)
07-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2m,1f)
07-May-2018 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (10m)
05-May-2018 : Cors y Llyn NNR, Powys (3m,1f)
05-May-2018 : Gilfach Farm, Powys (4m)
04-May-2018 : Cors y Llyn NNR, Powys (1m)
01-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (6m,1f)
01-May-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
26-Apr-2018 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (6m)
26-Apr-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
22-Apr-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (3m)
21-Apr-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
20-Apr-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2m)
19-Apr-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
19-Apr-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1m)
18-Apr-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (5+m)
18-Apr-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)

11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
03-Jun-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1f)
21-May-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (2m)
14-May-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (2m)
10-May-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m,1f)
07-May-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (6m,2f)
07-May-2017 : Lardon Chase, Berks (1m)
07-May-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
02-May-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (4m,1f)
02-May-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1f)
02-May-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (3m,1f)
01-May-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2m)
30-Apr-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m,1f)
22-Apr-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m,1f)
22-Apr-2017 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (6m)
22-Apr-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1f)
18-Apr-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2m)
18-Apr-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
18-Apr-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m,1f)
15-Apr-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (4m)
13-Apr-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (6+m,1f)
11-Apr-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
09-Apr-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (2m)
08-Apr-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Apr-2017 : Northcourt Road, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
06-Apr-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1m)
02-Apr-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
30-Mar-2017 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1m)

07-Jun-2016 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
05-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (2m)
02-Jun-2016 : Lymington-Keyhaven NR, Hants (1f)
28-May-2016 : Wicken Wood, Bucks (1m)
22-May-2016 : Lardon Chase, Berks (1m)
22-May-2016 : Goring Railway Bridge, Oxon (3m,1f)
19-May-2016 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (5m,1f)
15-May-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1m)
14-May-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (8+m,1f)
08-May-2016 : Rodborough Common, Glos (3m)
08-May-2016 : Whelford Pools, Glos (4m,1f)
07-May-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
06-May-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1m,1f)
05-May-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
05-May-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (8m,1f)
02-May-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
30-Apr-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (3m)
24-Apr-2016 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (3m)
20-Apr-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1m)
17-Apr-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3m)
05-Apr-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1m)

07-Jun-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (3m)
07-Jun-2015 : Goring Railway Bridge, Oxon (1m)
04-Jun-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1m)
04-Jun-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1m)
23-May-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m,1f)
21-May-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (2m,1f)
17-May-2015 : Stockbridge Down, Hants (1m)
16-May-2015 : Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks (1m)
10-May-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (4+m)
09-May-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2m)
07-May-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1m)
04-May-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (4+m)
04-May-2015 : Cholsey Marsh, Oxon (1m)
03-May-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
27-Apr-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (6m)
27-Apr-2015 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1m)
25-Apr-2015 : Ardley Quarry, Oxon (2m,1f)
23-Apr-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (3m)
22-Apr-2015 : Burgess Field, Oxon (1)
22-Apr-2015 : Port Meadow, Oxford, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3m)
18-Apr-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1m)
18-Apr-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (3m)
15-Apr-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
15-Apr-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
14-Apr-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)