Orange Tip

Anthocharis cardamines

Iain H Leach
Gilles San Martin
Iain H Leach
Andrew Cooper
Giles San Martin
Dan Hoare
Dean Morley

What do they eat?

Caterpillars munch on:

  • Cuckooflower
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Honesty
  • Dame’s-violet

Adults take nectar from a range of flowers including:

  • Bluebell
  • Cuckooflower
  • Ground Ivy
  • Red Campion

Where does it spend the winter?

In summer, around mid-June, fully grown caterpillars wander off in search of a suitable place to pupate. Using silk, they suspend themselves upright on a vertical surface such a plant stem, before changing into a chrysalis. They’ll spend around 10 months in this stage, before emerging as adults in the spring.



Flying Season

April - June

Life Cycle


April, May, June


May, June


May, June, July


January, February, March, April, July, August, September, October, November, December

UK Distribution

Want to learn


There is even more about this species on the main Butterfly Conservation website

Fun Facts
about the Orange Tip

Orange-tip caterpillars are cannibalistic; they will eat eggs and other caterpillars if encountered on ‘their’ plant. Female Orange-tip butterflies will usually only lay a single egg on each chosen food plant, to avoid this extreme sibling rivalry.