Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
[ A ]  [ B ]  [ C ]  [ D ]  [ E ]  [ F ]  [ G ]  [ H ]  [ I ]  [ J ]  [ K ]  [ L ]  [ M ]  [ N ]  [ O ]  [ P ]  [ Q ]  [ R ]  [ S ]  [ T ]  [ V ]  [ W ]  [ Y ]  [ Z ]  
Scientific Name begins with:
[ A ]  [ B ]  [ C ]  [ D ]  [ E ]  [ F ]  [ G ]  [ H ]  [ J ]  [ L ]  [ M ]  [ N ]  [ O ]  [ P ]  [ S ]  [ T ]  [ U ]  [ V ]  [ Z ]  
Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in PIERIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameFalcate Orangetip by Betty Anderson => WB Umstead, 2004-03-29
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameAnthocharis midea
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Occurs in all three provinces and is nearly statewide in occurrence. In the mountains found mostly in the lower elevations, and possibly absent in a few northern mountain counties (such as Avery and Mitchell). It is spottily distributed near the coast and is possibly absent in a few such counties.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Common, at least locally, in many Piedmont and upper Coastal Plain locales; not common in the mountains or much of the lower Coastal Plain. Very rare to absent above perhaps 2500 feet elevation.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Single-brooded; early March (rarely mid-February) to late April downstate; mainly from mid- or late March to early May, and rarely into late May, in the mountains. Peaks in late March and early April in the Piedmont, and in late March in the Coastal Plain.
HabitatHABITAT: Typically mesic to moist hardwoods or mixed woods, including bottomlands, but it can often be seen along woodland borders and in woodland openings. It is not usually seen in large open fields or urban and suburban habitats.
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: As with other whites and sulphurs, mustard family species are the foodplants; toothworts (Cardamine spp.) are probably the primary species in NC. These butterflies often nectar on toothworts, but other spring-blooming flowers are used.
CommentsCOMMENTS: As with most single-brooded species with narrow flight periods, some gaps in the county distribution maps exist. This is simply a matter of lack of coverage during the (20-30)-day flight period in any given area, as the species is not usually difficult to find in the appropriate habitat. The range, however, is not well known in parts of the mountains, where it definitely occurs at low elevations (below 2500 feet); perhaps the West Virginia White replaces this species in the middle and high elevations. Oddly, it seems extremely scarce in Swain County, where an abundance of rich hardwood forests below 2500 feet elevation are present in Great Smoky Mountains National Park; a first record came in 2021. Apparently, the species is displaced there by the West Virginia White, even at rather low elevations.

This species is one of the harbingers of spring, often encountered when an observer is looking for spring wildflowers along Piedmont or Coastal Plain slopes and bottomlands.
State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG4G5 [G5]
Federal Status
SynonymParamidea midea
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Falcate Orangetip
Photo by: Sam Bland
Comment: Hammocks Beach State Park, Onslow Co.; 2005-Apr-05, male
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Jessie Summers
Comment: Raven Rock State Park, Harnett Co. 2008-Apr-09. Female signaling male.
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Richard Stickney
Comment: Wake Co., March 2020
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Will Stuart
Comment: March 11, 2020. Chester County, SC; female ovipositing
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge
Photo by: John Ennis
Comment: Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve, Brunswick County. 2012-March-11; male
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Comment: Apr 3, 2011. West Branch Preserve, Mecklenburg Co.; female
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Comment: Mar 18, 2006, Mecklenburg Co. Male
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Jeff Pippen
Comment: Male. Gates Co., NC 13 Apr 2007
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge
Photo by: W. Cook
Comment: Male, Durham Co., NC; 22 March 2003
Falcate Orangetip - Click to enlarge