Overview

Brief Summary

North American Ecology (US and Canada)

Resident in southwest North America (Scott 1986). Habitats are LOWLAND DESERTS. Host plants are usually herbaceous with most known hosts largely restricted to a few species in one family, Cruciferae. Eggs are laid on the host plant singly. Individuals overwinter as pupae. There is one flight each year with the approximate flight time MAY1-JUN1 in the northern part of the range and FEB1-APR30 in the southern part of their range (Scott 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (250-20,000 square km (about 100-8000 square miles)) Southern and eastern California to northern Baja California, east through parts of Nevada, and southeast through much of Arizona to southern New Mexico and extreme western Texas (from Scott, 1986), particularly in desert regions.

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Habitats mostly low desert; also chapparal, woodland hills, canyons, glades, ridgeline meadows, that is various semi-open to open situations with the larval foodplants up to about 1800 meters.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Larvae on various Brassicaceae. Probably eat flowers and developing pods only.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80

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Global Abundance

2500 - 10,000 individuals

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Adults feed mainly from nectar. Males patrol for females (Scott, 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Anthocharis cethura

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: In some areas, mainly in southern California deserts, it is subject to a wide variety of pressures but over all this is a fairly widespread desert speices and is not in trouble rangewide.

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Threats

Degree of Threat: B : Moderately threatened throughout its range, communities provide natural resources that when exploited alter the composition and structure of the community over the long-term, but are apparently recoverable

Comments: Urbanization, off road vehicles, possibly air pollution.

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Management

Global Protection: Few to several (1-12) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

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Wikipedia

Anthocharis cethura

Anthocharis cethura is a species of butterfly in the subfamily Pierinae known by the common names desert orangetip and Felder's orangetip.[1] It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it lives on hills and ridges in rocky desert habitat.[2]

Male and female look similar. The wingspan is 2.6 to 4 centimeters. The wings are yellow with an orange patch toward the front of the forewing outlined in black and white. The edges of the wings are spotted with black. The underside of the hindwing has greenish bands.[1]

The adults appear early in the spring. Males congregate in the midday sun to wait for females to emerge, and are more easily observed than females, which are active later in the day. The flight pattern is quick and erratic.[1]

The female lays eggs singly on host plants. The conical eggs are blue-green when fresh, then turn orange. During early stages the caterpillar is green with a purple stripe outlined in white. In its last instar it is white with mottled markings.[1] The larvae feed mostly on plants of the mustard family.[2] They have been noted on lyreleaf jewelflower (Streptanthus carinatus), London rocket (Sisymbrium irio), western tansymustard (Descurainia pinnata), sand fringepod (Thysanocarpus curvipes), and California mustard (Guillenia lasiophylla).[1]

There are many subspecies.[1] The ssp. catalina is endemic to Santa Catalina Island, California.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Anthocharis cethura. Invertebrate Abstracts. Arizona Game and Fish Department.
  2. ^ a b c Anthocharis cethura. Butterflies and Moths of North America.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Includes A. Pima. These two form a gradual cline between California, Nevada and Arizona, as discussed by Emmel et al. (1998) (Opler and Warren 2004). It could be recognized as a subspecies if there were a reason to do so.

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