Status:  common resident

Flights:  3-4, Mar-Nov

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  widespread; Carmel Valley Rd., Fremont Peak, Gloria Rd., Bradley, Parkfield

Habitats:  open areas: meadow, field, desert, suburb, prairie; disturbed habitat specialist; more frequent lowlands, but also high peaks

Host plants:  native/exotic mustards

Adult foodboth sexes visit variety of flowers: mustards, composites, thistle; young males seek minerals

Conservationnone required


  1.   somewhat nomadic, an irruptive colonist esp. N, where it can endure several yrs if winters mild

  2.   flies with cabbage white, but no direct competition, difft niche (host plant parts)

  3.   females reflect UV moderately, males key on indiv with intermediate reflectiveness; females disperse when courted too persistently by amorous males in dense colonies

  4. male resembles CAWH in flight

  5.   female more checkered, brown & diffuse above, HW UN yellow-tan; male HW UN lightly checkered; spring form smaller, short day (sp/f) form darker gray/green veining below, some summer males all white below


Checkered White   Pontia protodice

Life history facts

egg: laid singly on host plant leaves and flowers

larva: feed on buds, flowers, fruits, also leaves

pupa: hibernate

adult:  males patrol hilltops, fields, roadsides thru the day for receptive females; flight rapid, low, erratic, but direct, will not enter woods

arroyo seco camp 10-6-05