Status:  rare resident?

Flights:  1, Mar-May?

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  UC Hastings Reserve, no other recent records; Mar-Apr records from Pinnacles NM (San Benito Co.) suggest Gabilans uplands in early spring

Habitats:  dry rocky areas, open coniferous woodlands, chaparral

Host plants:  Possible hosts - rock cress, jewel flower, hedge mustard (Sisymbrium), other native mustards

Adult foodmud

Conservationnone required


  1.   formerly California white

  2.   sisymbrii refers to preference for mustards as host plant (common among n. hemisphere whites)

  3.   prefers lowlands in spring, high elev. in summer; withstands wide range of temp.

  4.   males milk-white; females cream-colored, some tinged yellow (north)


Spring White   Pontia sisymbrii

Life history facts

egg: laid singly on any part of host plant

larva: young feed on leaves, older on flowers

pupa: hibernate

adult:  males patrol hilltops, ridges, bottoms of canyons for females; fly close to ground