Mustard (Margined) White   Pieris marginalis

Status:  common resident

Flights:  2, Jan-Jul

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  favors coastal foothills, cyns.; Soberanes Creek, Carmel Valley Rd., Toro Park, Garland Ranch

Habitats:  moist forest, shady woodland, streamsides

Host plants:  milkmaid, toothwort, mustards

Adult food:  flower nectar - miner's lettuce, oxalis, etc.

Conservation:  none required


  1.   may be 2-3 ssp.; “margined white” in MCO

  2.   seasonal polymorphism - 2nd brood june-july almost entirely white (pallid white, form “pallida)

  3.   pops, still undergoing taxonomic revision

  4.   variable, UN HW veins outlined in gray/green (spring). unmarked in summer; FW may have 1 spot (male), 2 spots (fem.); black scaling at outer margin apex inward, along veins

Life history facts

egg: laid singly on underside of host plant leaves

larva: feed on leaves

pupa: hibernate

adult:  males patrol during day for receptive females; flight erratic, close to ground, not fast

Garland ranch 4-6-06