Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

Peak District local information

When to see: April to June

Where to see: Meadows

Behaviour: Patrol

Wingspan: 40-52mm

Caterpillar food plant: Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine pratensis), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Peak District status: A common and widespread resident in various habitats. Seen frequently in damp rushy areas where one of its main food plants, Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine pratensis) grows, but does not occur as high up moorland valleys as Green-veined White. Single-brooded, flying from late April or early May to June, and exceptionally into July.


Watch a film about the Life Cycle of the Orange Tip butterfly (Windows Media Audio/Video File 3.66Mb - © MMIV Dream Catcher Films). The film will appear in the Butterfly Conservation Education Pack that will be available to schools next year.

Orange Tip butterfly (male)
Orange Tip butterfly (female) on Cuckoo Flower