West Virginia White Pieris virginiensis (W.H. Edwards, 1870)G3 (Globally rare/local)  -  S1 (Highly state rare)  -  S2 (State rare)  -  Western MD only
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Arthropoda   >   Class Insecta   >   Order Lepidoptera   >   Family Pieridae   >   Genus Pieris   

Status:

In contrast to the introduced Cabbage White, the beautiful and delicate West Virginia White (Pieris virginiensis) is indicative of high quality, relative intact forested or woodland habitats, where it can find its perferred wildflower food plants. Its flight is fluttery and slow, compared to the stronger, purposeful flight of Cabbage White. West Virginia White is a univoltine spring species, active as an adult from April to May (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith; Kaufman Guide to Butterflies of North America; The Butterflies of West Virginia and Their Caterpillars). This species is ranked globally as G3 (globally rare), and ranked in Maryland as S1-S2 (highly state rare-state rare). It is restricted to western Maryland.

Relationships:

This species typically uses toothworts (Cardamine sp.) or rockcresses as larval food plants. It is unfortunately attracted to, and will oviposit on, the invasive weed Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), but the leaves are toxic to the caterpillars. This can lead to population declines where habitat has been disturbed, and garlic mustard has gained a foothold.

There are 13 records in the project database.

GA AL WA FR CLMOHOBABCHACEPGAACVCHSMKEQACNTADOWISOWO
A West Virginia White in Garrett Co., Maryland (4/30/2017). Photo by Jared Satchell. (MBP list)

A West Virginia White in Russell Co., Virginia (5/25/2008). Photo by Steve Collins. (MBP list)

A West Virginia White in Garrett Co., Maryland (5/2/2015). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

A West Virginia White in Garrett Co., Maryland (5/1/2018). Photo by Boyer and McDowell. (MBP list)

A West Virginia White in Garrett Co., Maryland (4/30/2017). Photo by Jared Satchell. (MBP list)


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