Checkered White Butterfly

(Pontia protodice)

Checkered White:

A black and white butterfly that can be seen throughout much of the United States and southern Canada, For some reason, this butterfly excludes the Pacific Northwest as part of its home range.

It is generally on the wing from spring to fall, and the year round in warmer climates.

This checkered butterfly frequents open spaces, parks and often visits home gardens.

It larvae feed on certain members of the mustard family, such as cabbage, turnip greens and mustard. It is attracted to both your vegetable and flower gardens.

Checkered white butterfly


This little checkered butterfly is mostly white above, with black patches that generally form a checkered pattern

Size of this butterfly is 1 and 1/2 inches to 2 inches from wing tip to wing tip.


The butterfly inhabits a wide range of usually dry, open areas, including roadsides, open parks, vacant lots as well as gardens.


The Checkered White has a darting flight pattern.

Males patrol in search of females. Sometimes great numbers of this butterfly are seen together.

checkered white larvae

Larvae and Host plants:

This Checkered Larvae feed on various members of the mustard family. Turnip greens, mustard, cabbage, and other Cole crops. Spider flower (Cleome) is also a larval host. Larvae are greenish, with yellow and gray stripes.

Favorite Nectar Flowers:

Aster (Aster), Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Centaury (Centaurium) and others.

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