Ixias marianne

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White Orange Tip
White Orangetip (2).JPG
Female (Photo by Santosh Namby Chandran)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pieridae
Genus: Ixias
Species: I. marianne
Binomial name
Ixias marianne
(Cramer, 1779)
Dry-season brood- Female at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India
Dry-season brood- Male at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India

Ixias marianne, commonly known as the white orange tip, is a small butterfly of the family Pieridae, (the yellows and whites) found in India and Sri Lanka.


The characteristics of this species vary according to the season of the year in which the eggs are laid.

Wet-season brood[edit]

Mating- Wet-season form in Hyderabad, India.

The male has chalky-white wings with the apical half of the fore wing and terminal margin of the hind wing broadly black. There is a broad, rich, orange patch obliquely across the black area extended to the upper apex of the fore wing. At the lower apex this orange patch is very broad and leaves only the tip of the wing black along with a comparatively narrow band along the edge. The base of the wing is covered with black scales.

The underside of the wing is a rich sulphur-yellow as in other species of the genus, and is covered with reddish-brown, short, transverse striations and minute dots. The fore wing has an orange patch on the upperside which can be plainly seen because of the transparency on the wing, a broadly triangular area below this cell white, large and prominent discocellular spots with a white centre. Both fore and hind wings have a discal transverse series of reddish-brown spots, more or less conspicuous, the spots always centred with white. In other species in the genus these is characteristic of the dry-season broods. Oon the fore wing the patch above the tornus is prominent and in some specimens very large. The antennae are reddish brown and the head and thorax anteriorly are covered with reddish-brown hairs. The upper side of the thorax is gray with white hairs and the abdomen is black. The under side of the head, thorax and abdomen are white.[1][2]

Dry-season brood- Male at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India

The female is similar with the upper fore wing having the orange patch on the black apical area narrower, posteriorly truncate and not extending so far down. There is also an outer transverse series of four black spots on the orange parch in interspaces 2 to 5. The underside is similar to that of the male but the markings are slightly larger. The antennae, head, thorax and abdomen are also similar.

Dry-season brood[edit]

In both sexes this differs less from the wet-season form than it does in Ixias pyrene and Ixias verna. The characteristic dry-season markings on the underside are more visible, on some occasions very much more pronounced.

The wing expanse in both sexes is 54–56 mm.


The white orange tip is found from the northwest Himalayas to Kumaon, Punjab, Bengal, central, western and southern India and Sri Lanka.

Food plants[edit]

The food plant for the larvae is Capparis grandis, a caper shrub in the Capparaceae family.[3]



  1. ^ Bingham, C. T. 1907. Fauna of British India. Butterflies. Vol. 2
  2. ^ http://www04.us.archive.org/stream/butterflies02bingiala /butterflies02bingiala_djvu.txt
  3. ^ Kunte, K. 2006. Additions to known larval host plants of Indian butterflies. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 103(1):119-120


  • Evans, W.H. (1932) The Identification of Indian Butterflies. (2nd Ed), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India

See also[edit]