of the Orange
The eggs are spindle shaped and c.1.2 mm tall.
Initially it is light green then a bright orange and finally a pale
brown before hatching.
The deep orange coloured eggs are readily
visible from a distance of one metre.
Only one egg is laid, in May or June, on the young flower
head of any one plant (this practice may be
related to the cannabilistic nature of the young larvae). Hatching
occurs within 7 days.
On hatching, in June or early July, the larva eats its eggshell and any
others of its own species that it
encounters . First-instar larvae have numerous setae which bear
globules (see next photo) containing a sweet liquid that is attractive to ants.
Mature caterpillar on Lady's
smock © DHardiman 2004
The fully grown larva leaves its food plant and may wander some distance
to pupate among dense vegetation.
There it attaches itself to twigs or stems supported
by its cremasteral hooks and silken girdle. With its colour
changing from green to brown it is almost impossible to find. There it
concealed from July untill the following April.
The Butterfly emerges in late-April or May.
female Orange Tip drying on pupal case
© DHardiman 2005