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Butterfly taxonomy (classification) The skippers The swallowtails The whites The hairstreaks, coppers and blues. Includes the Duke of Burgundy. The nymphalids, fritillaries and browns. Includes the Monarch.
Bath White - Alpes-Maritimes - 30 June 2010
Wingspan
48 - 52mm
Photo © CFB
Bath White

Pontia daplidice
Number: 58.009
B&F No.: 1552
Family:Pieridae (Duponchel, 1835)
Subfamily:Pierinae (Duponchel, 1835)
Tribe:Pierini (Duponchel, 1835)
Genus:Pontia (Fabricius, 1807)
Subgenus: 
Species:daplidice (Linnaeus, 1758)
Rare Migrant
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  Introduction  

This is an extremely scarce immigrant to the British Isles and, in some years, is not seen at all. However, on occasion, it does appear in large numbers, such as the great immigration of 1945. The first specimen was recorded in the British Isles in the late 17th century. Between 1850 and 1939 there were very few records, with only a few years reaching double figures. The exception was 1906 when several hundred were supposedly seen on the cliffs at Durdle Door, Dorset, although these records are considered suspect. The great years for this species, however, were between 1944 and 1950, with over 700 seen in 1945, mostly in Cornwall. This species has been extremely scarce ever since with less than 20 individuals recorded since 1952. It is believed that this species cannot survive our winter although some offspring resulting from the 1945 invasion may have survived into the following year. In the British Isles the species was potentially capable of producing 2 or 3 broods in good years.

The butterfly was originally known as “Vernon’s Half Mourner” after the first recognised capture by William Vernon in Cambridgeshire in May 1702, although earlier records are now known. However, the common name of this butterfly comes from a piece of needlework that figures this species, supposedly showing a specimen taken in or near Bath in 1795, and the name seems to have “stuck”. This species is a rare migrant to the British Isles. Although most records come from the south coast of England, this species has been reported as far north as Lincolnshire and Yorkshire in England, and also in County Wexford, south east Ireland (a record from 1893).

Taxonomy Notes

Ochsenheimer (1808) described the spring generation of P. daplidice as f. bellidice. The nominate form, f. daplidice, is used to describe the summer generation.

Pontia daplidice Historic Specimens

This species was first defined in Linnaeus (1758) as shown here (type locality: Southern Europe and Africa).


Bath White - male - Thatcham - 07-Jun-14 [REARED]
Male
Photo © Pete Eeles
Bath White (male), Campanet, Majorca (3 August 2012)
Male Underside
Photo © Mark Colvin
Bath White, female, Cuidad Quesada, Spain 26th September 2010
Female
Photo © Lee Hurrell
Bath White female - Cadiz, Spain 2-Nov-2013
Female Underside
Photo © EricY

  Phenology  

Adults are typically seen in the British Isles in July, August and September.


  Habitat  

This species prefers open habitats of any kind and, on the continent, will even breed on derelict sites.

  Larval Foodplants  

The primary larval foodplants are Crucifers (various) (Cruciferae family (various)) and Mignonettes (various) (Reseda spp.). Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), Sea Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) and Wild Mignonette (Reseda lutea) are also used.

  Nectar Sources  

Description to be completed

  Imago  

This is a highly mobile species, the last mass immigration occurring in 1945. Given the similarity of this species to other, more-common, whites, it is probably overlooked and therefore under-recorded.

Pontia daplidice Historic Specimens

Bath White - imago - Midden Beemster, Noord Holland - Unknown date [Rob Abraham]
Photo © Rob Abraham
Bath White, male, Cuidad Quesada, Spain 29th September 2010
Photo © Lee Hurrell
Bath White, female, Cuidad Quesada, Spain 26th September 2010
Photo © Lee Hurrell
Bath White, female, Cuidad Quesada, Spain 26th September 2010
Photo © Lee Hurrell
Bath White, female, Cuidad Quesada, Spain 26th September 2010
Photo © Lee Hurrell
Bath White - Alpes-Maritimes - 21 August 2010
Photo © CFB
21-Aug-2010
Bath White - pair - Provence - 26th April 2011
Photo © NickB
26-Apr-2011
Pontia daplicide male - Garajonay, La Gomera, Canary Islands 27-Jan-2009
Photo © JKT
27-Jan-2009
Bath White - Crete June 2012
Photo © warwick
28-May-2012
Bath White - Alpes-Maritimes - 30 June 2010
Photo © CFB
30-Jun-2010
Bath White - imago - Abella de la Conca, Spain - 20-Jun-10 (2)
Photo © Pete Eeles
Bath White - imago - Abella de la Conca, Spain - 20-Jun-10 (3)
Photo © Pete Eeles
Bath White - imago - Abella de la Conca, Spain - 25-Jun-10 (1)
Photo © Pete Eeles
Bath White - imago - Abella de la Conca, Spain - 25-Jun-10 (2)
Photo © Pete Eeles
Bath White (male), Campanet, Majorca (3 August 2012)
Photo © Mark Colvin
03-Aug-2012
Bath White (male), Campanet, Majorca (3 August 2012)
Photo © Mark Colvin
03-Aug-2012
Bath White female - Cadiz, Spain 2-Nov-2013
Photo © EricY
Bath White, Malaga,Spain. 30 March 2014.
Photo © essexbuzzard
30-Mar-2014
Bath White - female - Thatcham - 25-May-14 [REARED]-3
Photo © Pete Eeles
25-May-2014
Bath White - male - Thatcham - 07-Jun-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
07-Jun-2014
Bath White - male - Thatcham - 23-May-14 [REARED]-2
Photo © Pete Eeles
23-May-2014
Bath White - male - Thatcham - 25-May-14 [REARED]-11
Photo © Pete Eeles
25-May-2014
Bath White - male - Thatcham - 25-May-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
25-May-2014
Bath White - pair (male on left) - Thatcham - 25-May-14 [REARED]-4
Photo © Pete Eeles
25-May-2014

  Aberrations  

Description to be completed.

  Ovum  

Eggs are laid singly on the foodplant and are yellow-green when first laid, gradually turning orange. Eggs found in the British Isles in 1945 were laid on the flower heads of Wild Mignonette, Hedge Mustard and Sea Radish. Eggs hatch in approximately a week.

  Larva  

The larva feeds during both day and night and this stage typically lasts between 3 and 4 weeks.


Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 22-Jul-08 (1) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
22-Jul-2008
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 02-May-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
02-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 05-May-14 [REARED]-2
Photo © Pete Eeles
05-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 05-May-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
05-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 08-May-14 [REARED]-12
Photo © Pete Eeles
08-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 08-May-14 [REARED]-19
Photo © Pete Eeles
08-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 11-May-14 [REARED]-5
Photo © Pete Eeles
11-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 11-May-14 [REARED]-6
Photo © Pete Eeles
11-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 11-May-14 [REARED]-7
Photo © Pete Eeles
11-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 11-May-14 [REARED]-8
Photo © Pete Eeles
11-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 11-May-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
11-May-2014
Bath White - larva - Thatcham - 15-May-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
15-May-2014

  Pupa  

The pupa is often formed on stems of the foodplant, but also away from the foodplant on fences, buildings or other flat surfaces. The pupa is supported by a silk girdle and the cremaster.


Bath White - pupa - Thatcham - 15-May-14 [REARED]-2
Photo © Pete Eeles
15-May-2014
Bath White - pupa - Thatcham - 15-May-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
15-May-2014
Bath White - pupa - Thatcham - 17-May-14 [REARED]-2
Photo © Pete Eeles
17-May-2014
Bath White - pupa - Thatcham - 17-May-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
17-May-2014
Bath White - pupa - Thatcham - 26-May-14 [REARED]-2
Photo © Pete Eeles
26-May-2014
Bath White - pupa - Thatcham - 26-May-14 [REARED]
Photo © Pete Eeles
26-May-2014

  Similar Species  

Orange-tip

Description to be completed.

  Videos  

No videos are currently available for this species.

  Sites  

No sites found.

  Conservation Status  

No conservation action is relevant for this species.

  Links  

The following links provide additional information on this butterfly.

  References  

The species description provided here references the following publications:

ReferenceDetails
Linnaeus (1758) Linnaeus, C.: Systema Naturae. Edn.10. 1758.
Ochsenheimer (1808) Ochsenheimer, F.: Die Schmetterlinge von Europa. 1808.

  Copyright © Peter Eeles 2002-2014
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