Santa Barbara Field Guides - Butterflies|
wingspread 1.5-2 in.|
Recognition: Small; creamy white to white (male) or yellow (female) with dark FW tips and large orange patch beneath dark FW tips; underside of hindwing finely mottled with dark gray-green.
Flight perod: In many years with two flights, the main in February to April, with a second generation emerging in May and June.
Hostplants: The larva feeds on rock cress (Arabis), and other plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae).
Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats, but prefers sunny foothills, wooded canyons, and montane meadows.
Distribution: Ranges through much of the western U.S. from Alaska to Baja California. Found throughout southern California and Santa Barbara County. Look for these distinctive butterflies in the dry mountains and hillsides surrounding Santa Barbara.