whites and sulphurs

Some family facts

  1. Bullet  There are 60 species of Pierids in North America, ten in Monterey County. 

  2. Bullet  They comprise two subfamilies, the Pierinae (orangetips, marbles, and whites; six species) and the Coliadinae (sulphurs; four species). 

  3. Bullet  Most are medium-sized and common. 

  4. Bullet  Several are seasonally variable - early season forms look different from late season forms.


  1. round, elongated, ribbed


  1. often green, without hairs

  2. whites feed on mustards,

  3. sulphurs on legumes                



  1. typically have both a cremaster and a silk girdle

  2. often pointed at the head

Adult characteristics:   

  1. forelegs full-sized and functional

  2. claws (tips of legs) are forked

  3. wings of many reflect and absorb UV light

  4. many are sexually dimorphic,

  5. and several are seasonally variable

Adult behaviors:

  1. often found at mud puddles


Pierids in Monterey County:


   sara (pacific) orangetip  Anthocharis sara  

    large marble Euchloe ausonides   

    mustard (margined) white Pieris marginalis

    cabbage white Pieris rapae

    checkered white Pontia protodice

    spring white Pontia sisymbrii


    california dogface Colias (Zerene) eurydice

    orange sulphur  Colias eurytheme

    harford’s sulphur Colias harfordii

    cloudless sulphur Phoebis sennae marcellina

mustard white in Garland Ranch Park