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Portuguese Dappled White Butterfly - Euchloe tagis

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Pieridae

Portuguese Dappled White Butterfly, Euchloe tagis

Seen from the top, the Portuguese Dappled White butterfly could easily be mistaken for a Small White; however, the characteristic white-spotted greeny-grey undersides of the wings are an easy means of separating these two species. The wingspan varies between 3and 4cm - somewhat smaller than other Euchloe species.

Distribution

Localised rather thyan widespread, apart from Portugal this butterfly is found in Spain, Southern France, Italy and other Mediterranean-bordering countries as well as parts of North Africa. (There are several subspecies described across its range.)

Underwing view of Euchloe tagis, Portuguese Dappled White butterfly

Above: Paired Portuguese Dappled Whites in the Algarve

Lifecycle

The eggs are laid on the undersides of the leaves of their larval foodplants - members of the family Brassicaceae such as the various Candytuft species. The eggs take about a week to hatch, depending on the weatherand then the green caterpillars take approximately a month to grow full size. They overwinter as pupae.

Portuguese Dappled Whites have a single brood, and so they can be seen in flight from February through until June. The butterflies in the pictures above were photographed in the Algarve region of Portugal in April.

Studying butterflies and moths...


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