Western White Butterfly

Common Name: Western White

Order Name: Lepidoptera

Family Name: Pieridae

Very similar to the checkered white, western whites are found in the north west rather than the southern states. Wing markings vary throughout the year and between male and females. In fact, these butterflies use the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum to distinguish between males and females. Males wing scales absorb UV light whereas female wings reflect UV. Although males patrol for females, female are known to approach males. This specimen was sipping a nectar breakfast in an alpine meadow in Northern California.