Now paint Dorset orange!

Map showing where Orange Tips have been reported since 2015

We asked you recently to paint Dorset yellow by reporting Brimstones – now we want you to look out for Orange Tips as well! The map showswhere this species have been reported in the current five-year recording cycle, and we’d love to plug the gaps, as this is the final year.

Remember it is only the male Orange Tip which has orange tips to its wings: the female does not. They are both, however, mottled green on their rear underwings.

Butterfly with orange tips to its wings and green mottling underneath

Orange Tip male. Photo: Dave Law

White butterfly with black wingtips and a black spot on the topside of each forewing

Orange Tip female with no orange tips but a prominent black spot on each wing. Photo: Alison Copland

view of a mating pair of Orange tips

Orange Tips. Photo: Brian Arnold

The Dorset coverage so far of Orange Tips is only 36%, when we could expect to see them in the majority of kilometre squares in the County.

Plants on which the females to lay their eggs include the wild flowers garlic mustard and cuckoo flower, plus the garden plants Sweet Rocket and Honesty, so look out for these: where females go, males follow.

photo of a Green -veined White and an Orange tip plus an egg, on Lady's Smock

Orange Tip (left) and Green-veined White on a cuckoo flower (Lady’s Smock). See also the orange egg laid just below the top bud: the colour shows it to be an Orange Tip egg. Photo:Mark Pike


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