Orange Tip

The Orange Tip is one of the first butterflies to emerge each spring.  Some other species of butterflies are often seen earlier in the year, but generally these earlier butterflies are those that have been in hibernation over the winter rather than fresh emergence.  the Orange Tip is quite common and is often easy to see each Spring as it flutters across the countryside.  Its range is gradually increasing and is now found up to central Scotland and most of England and Wales.

The Orange Tip is one of four "white butterfly species" which can appear similar in appearance, especially when in flight, the other three are Small White, Large White, and Green Vein White.  The Orange Tip is identifiable from the others because of it's Orange Tip to the wings, which is most obvious then the butterfly is at rest with its wings open.  With many British butterflies, it is not easy to distinguish between  the male and the female (with the exception of the blue family).  But Orange Tip is one of the white species where the difference between the male and female is relatively easy to spot.  This difference being that the male Orange Tip has a much larger and much brighter orange tip on the edge of its fore wings. (indeed the female can be confused with other whites because of the lack of this orange colouring).

Orange Tips are often strong fliers and sometimes they seldom pause for long, they often cover a large area in flight.  When resting they can sit on almost any flower or grass and always look good when resting on the Bluebells in spring.  Their food plants are Cuckooflower and Garlic Mustard which are both found in wetter habitat and are also the plant on which the Orange Tip lays its eggs.

As regular readers of this site will know, I end up travelling  all round Britain in search of Butterfly photography opportunities, but Orange Tip is another species which regularly visit my garden where some of the images were taken.  I have also tried something a little different with a couple of head on shots.