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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Pontia occidentalis
     Western White


Size: wingspread 1.5-2 in.
Recognition: White; FW light with black bands/markings near outer edge, also dark patches in mid-FW; HW has cells that are outlined in dark gray-green.
Flight period: Adults are active from February to November, with two flights during this time.
Hostplants: The larvae of the Western White feed on plants in the mustard family, such as rock cresses, peppergrass, tansy mustard, and black mustard.
Habitat: Found in subarctic areas and mountain slopes as well as mountain fields and meadows; prefers higher elevations.
Distribution: Found throughout western Canada and the northwestern U.S. Is not known to be present in Santa Barbara county, but may be found in higher elevation areas of the Los Padres wilderness.

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