Utah Lepidopterists' Society

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Utah Butterfly and Skipper Species' Descriptions

Anthocharis julia browningi 

(Utah Julia Orangetip)


Adults Top Row:  Male and female.  Bottom Row:  Male and female ventral surface.  (Click on image for larger picture.) Mature Larva (On Isatis tinctoria)

Example of habitat  Example of hostplant--Arabis sparsiflora var. subvillosa 


        The Type Locality of A. julia browningi is City Creek Canyon, Salt Lake County, Utah; Skinner.   In both sexes, the dark markings are reduced or washed out as compared to other subspecies of A. julia.  The background color is off white with some yellowish tint which can be even more pronounced in some Cache County populations.  This subspecies is recognized by some as being a race of A. sara.  (I am currently studying immature stages of the entire complex including all named 14 subspecies.)  However, consistent larval similarities between this subspecies and julia, sulfuris, stella, flora, and alaskensis in contrast to consistent larval differences to all subspecies of sara and thoosa, place browningi as a subspecies of julia

Utah Distribution and Habitat:

        In Utah, Anthocharis julia browningi flies in the Bear River Range in the extreme northern part of the state.  It also flies throughout most of the Wasatch Range as well as into the north central part of the state in the San Pitch Mountains of Juab County.  Most colonies of A. julia browningi in the San Pitch Mountains likely fly sympatrically and synchronically with A. thoosa thoosa.  At Willow Creek, east of Mona, browningi and thoosa fly together at the mouth of the canyon in a ratio that is roughly 95 to 5 percent.  On the other hand, further south, at Deep Creek Canyon, both taxa fly together with A. thoosa thoosa being the dominant taxon.  Further south from Deep Creek Canyon, colonies of browningi are likely being replaced by thoosa altogether.   A paper was recently published in The Taxonomic Report discussing the behaviors of both A. julia browningi and A. thoosa thoosa where the distribution of both taxa meet near Nephi, Juab County, Utah.


       Hostplants for Anthocharis julia browningi include Arabis sparsiflora var. subvillosa, Arabis perennans,  Arabis microphylla, and Descurainia pinnata.   Oviposition has also been witnessed on Arabidopsis thaliana.  It is unclear how much browningi utilizes Isatis tinctoria (dyar's woad) as a larval hostplant in the field even though adults fly in association with this plant in Davis County (Farmington Canyon) and Weber County (Taylor Canyon).  To date, there has only been one known record (that I know of) of browningi using dyar's woad as produced by Steve Sommerfeld in Ogden Canyon.   This is odd since larvae of browningi readily accepts this plant in the lab.   Also, larvae of Anthocharis sara have been found on Isatis tinctoria near Merlin,  Josephine County, Oregon.

     With the exception of dyar's woad, most of these larval hostplants can be found either between rocks (Arabis spp.) or taking refuge under canyon trees (Descurainia pinnata.Note:  For tips on how to raise A. julia browningi in the lab, please click here.   

       The ova are white turning orange after 24 hours; hatching in about 4-5 days.  Females prefer to oviposit ova as singletons on hostplant inflorescens and siliques.  First instar larvae are cannibalistic and will consume other pierid ova if it finds them.  The young first instar larva is light colored with a dark head.  Second and third instar larvae of A. julia are greenish.  The fifth instar larva is pictured above.

       Hibernation is as pupa.  For those rearing A. j. browningi in the lab, most pupae will emerge either after one or two winters of diapause.   For more photos of developing A. j. browningi in the lab, please click here.


Pupae of A. julia browningi above and A. thoosa thoosa below.  

Todd Stout

For more images of this butterfly, please see Nicky Davis' Wild Utah website!  

All images of Limenitis weidemeyeri on the ULS Info Bar courtesy Jay Cossey                                                                    

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