Did You Know? 13 Incredible Orange Tip Facts

Find interesting orange tip facts adored by everyone.

The orange tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines) is one of the 1100 Pieridae family butterfly species. They are mostly found in temperate Asian and European regions and they are a common and widespread butterfly species, found mostly in gardens and hedgerows. Spotting an orange tip butterfly in your garden is a true sign of spring since they are best adapted to thrive in their habitat during this season.

Males and females of the orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) species differ in their appearance. They feed on nectar, plants, vegetables, and flowers, and they are a medium sized butterfly species with bright orange colorful wings, which makes it easy to spot them. To attract butterflies in gardens, people plant nectar-rich plants for them to feed on, along with shrubs and climbing ivy for overwintering insects. Females lay eggs on special plants so that the caterpillars can feed on the host plant's developing seed pods, right after they are born.

Butterfly species can be quite interesting to learn about, so if you want to know more about them, you can also check out our puss moth and green June beetle facts.

Orange Tip Facts

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Nectar, garlic mustard, and cuckooflower

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

100-300 eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

1-2 in (2.5-5 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Yellow, orange, white, and black

Skin Type

Smooth, dusky thin scales

What are their main threats?

Birds, rats, grasshoppers, and frogs

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Woodlands, grasslands, savanna, and garden habitats


Europe and Asia





Scientific Name

Anthocharis cardamines





Orange Tip Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an orange tip?

Orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) are a type of butterfly species.

What class of animal does an orange tip belong to?

Orange tip butterflies belong to the Insecta class of animals.

How many orange tips are there in the world?

The total number of orange tip butterflies present in the world is currently unknown. They are widespread, wild animals so it is difficult to measure their exact population.

Where does an orange tip live?

Orange tip butterflies mostly live in woods, grasslands, gardens, and tropical regions. They are mostly found in areas with plenty of flowers and vegetation. They live on leaves and among tree holes to stay safe from predators and from extreme climate conditions.

What is an orange tip's habitat?

Orange tip butterflies have been widespread across Britain, including in England, Ireland, and Scotland over the past 30 years, and are also found in Asia on a large scale. They prefer habitats such as woodland habitats, meadows, banks of rivers and streams, and gardens. They are spotted abundantly during spring and summer. They are also seen to have a wide distribution among garlic mustard fields.

Who does orange tip live with?

This butterfly species is known to stay and survive alone, and they rarely travel or are seen in groups. Even when they are found together among flower fields or gardens, they are limited to groups of four orange tips.

How long does an orange tip live?

An orange tip can live up to 12 months. However, it is very rare for them to live for this long, since orange tip butterflies are sensitive to changes in weather conditions, especially during winter. Therefore, most do not survive more than a number of weeks. Also, their bright orange coloring means that they become easy targets to predators like birds.

How do they reproduce?

After the Anthocharis cardamines male and female butterflies mate, the female orange tip starts laying round and greenish-white eggs from May to June. Upon maturity, the eggs turn orange and then Anthocharis cardamines larvae hatch after one to two weeks. The eggs hatch into larvae from around June until early July, and these caterpillars feed on their empty egg cases and the developing seed pods of their host plant. Orange tip caterpillars are green at birth, and look like worms, without wings. Later, a caterpillar then emerges from a pupa to develop a wide wingspan with orange tips. The pupa is usually formed upright on a plant stem or another vertical surface to provide them with a suitable wintering site, and it is usually green when it forms at first. The pupa is also elongated and concave dorsally. It acts as a safe place for the caterpillar to survive winter. The lifecycle of the orange tip butterflies, from a caterpillar to a pupa, to a beautiful winged orange tip butterfly is amazing!

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of orange tips is currently Least Concern, as their population and distribution are stable.

Orange Tip Fun Facts

What does an orange tip look like?

Male and female orange tip butterflies differ in their looks. Male orange tip butterflies are white butterflies with bright orange wing tips, whereas female orange tip butterflies have a white body with black wing tips. However, both males and females are known to have mottled green underwings. They have a wingspan of 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm). Caterpillars of these butterflies are generally green until they transform into an orange tip butterfly.

The orange tip butterfly got its name from the fact that it has orange tips on both its wings.

How cute are they?

The orange tip is a beautiful and colorful butterfly that people love to watch. Male and female orange tip butterflies, even though they look different, are both cute and peaceful insects!

How do they communicate?

The means of communication between orange tip butterflies are currently unknown.

How big is an orange tip?

With a wingspan of 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm), the orange tip species is generally 10 times bigger than a bee.

How fast can an orange tip fly?

Orange tip butterflies do not fly as fast or as high as birds, but according to their size, and compared to other flying bug species, they have an impressive flight speed.

How much does an orange tip weigh?

The weight range of an orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) butterlfy is less than a gram. Orange tip butterflies are very light and their body is covered with wings that carry almost no weight at all.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female orange tip butterflies do not have separate names to describe them.

What would you call a baby orange tip?

The young babies of the orange tip species are known as larva or caterpillars.

What do they eat?

The orange tip diet mainly consists of plants and nectar. They are also seen to have a wide distribution among garlic mustard fields, suggesting that this is a favorite plant of the species. They are also known to engage in cannibalism by eating their own egg sometimes! The process of Anthocharis cardamines feeding is achieved by using their long proboscis, which is a tube-like tongue.

Are they poisonous?

Anthocharis cardamines are non-poisonous in nature and are adorable, colorful butterflies.

Would they make a good pet?

It is rare to raise butterflies as pets since they prefer open grounds and fields to feed themselves from flower plants. We should not touch these beautiful butterflies, as they are delicate and sensitive, and they may lose thin scales and color just by humans touching them. So, it is always better to admire them from afar and avoid having them enclosed in cages as a pet.

Did you know...

Many people believe that the orange tip butterfly symbolizes joy and optimism!

Is the orange tip butterfly rare?

No, the orange tip butterfly is quite common and the species' (Anthocharis cardamines) range distribution is widespread across Europe, Asia, and even in the US.

What is an orange butterfly called?

The orange tip is the most famous orange butterfly and it got its name from the color of its wings, which are orange at the tips. They are easy to spot, especially males, and their presence often reminds us of the arrival of spring.

Butterflies can be found in a range of different colors, from the bright red color of the red admiral butterfly to the purple emperor butterfly which is, you guessed it, a lovely purple color!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these morpho butterfly surprising facts and viceroy butterfly facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable orange tip coloring pages.



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