checkered white (Pontia protodice)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae)
SUBFAMILY: Whites (Pierinae)
IDENTIFICATION: Upperside of male forewing has black checkered
pattern on outer half. Female is more heavily patterned, but markings
are more brown and diffuse. Hindwing of both male and female white.
Underside of male hindwing with pale checkered pattern. Underside of
female with yellow-tan markings on hindwing and tip of forewing. Short-
day form has underside hindwing veins with heavy gray-green outlines.
LIFE HISTORY: Males patrol flats seeking receptive females, who lay eggs
singly on leaves and flowers of host plants. Buds, flowers, and fruits are
favorite foods of caterpillars, but they will also eat leaves. A short-day
form appears in spring and fall. Chrysalids hibernate.
FLIGHT: Three flights, with a partial 4th in the South, from March-
WING SPAN: 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 inches (3.8 - 6.3 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae)
including cabbage (Brassica oleraceae); and caper family (Capparidaceae)
including Rocky Mountain bee-plant (Cleome serrulata).
ADULT FOOD: Flower nectar including hedge mustards, composites, and
HABITAT: Wide variety of sites including dry weedy areas, vacant lots,
fields, pastures, sandy areas, railroad beds, and roads.
RANGE: Permanent resident in southern United States and northern
Mexico; temporary in northern United States and southern Canada.
Does not occur in most of New England.
CONSERVATION: Not required.
NATURESERVE GLOBAL STATUS: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though
it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
MANAGEMENT NEEDS: None noted.
SKY MEADOWS OCCURRENCE:
Note: Due to seasonal conditions in this region, occurrence may vary from
year to year. The designation of occurrence may range over two or more
categories and may vary even during a single season.
Key to Checklist
A Abundant: Easy to see very large numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
C Common: Usually each to see good numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
U Uncommon: Sometimes found in appropriate habitat and proper time of year,
usually in low numbers.
O Occasional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times a year, usually
in low numbers.
R Rare: Small chance of being found, even in appropriate habitat at proper time of
year. There are few individuals and may not be present every year.
X Extirpated: Formerly present, no longer occurs in Sky Meadows Park.
Crooked Run Valley