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Insects and other arthropods

Pierids

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Description

This large family consists of small or medium-sized white, yellow or orange butterflies with orange wingtips. They often have dark or red markings on their wings, and spots visible only in ultraviolet light, thought to be used for courtship. With the Papilionidae, these are the only butterflies to have three sets of fully developed functional legs in both sexes.

The Coliadinae subfamily comprises yellow and orange butterflies called sulphurs and orangetips. They often have black-bordered wings. The members of the Pierinae subfamily are generally white with black markings or white with orange-tipped forewings.

Life cycle

During mating season, the males actively seek females. Once the females have been fertilized, they lay their columnar eggs resembling small towers, individually or in groups on the leaves, buds and stems of host plants. The caterpillars are long and cylindrical. Depending on the species, there may be more than one generation per year, in which case the wing colours may vary according to when the adults appear. In our northern regions, these insects overwinter as caterpillars or chrysalises.

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