Great Southern White

Ascia monuste

Summary 5

The Great Southern White (Ascia monuste) is the only species of butterfly of the genus Ascia in the family Pieridae . In this species the sexes may differ with the female being either light or dark colored.

Description 6

Upper surface of male forewing white with black zigzag pattern on outer margin. Dry season female form resembles male with heavier black zigzag pattern and a small black spot in the wing cell. Wet-season female is darkened with black scales above and below.
Wing Span: 2 1/2 - 3 3/8 inches (6.3 - 8.6 cm).

Larva Description 6

Abdominal segments with multiple annules; hairy; pale green with dorso-lateral yellow stripe; dark lateral stripe with black pinacula; sublateral stripe yellow. Abodomen covered with multi-sized black pinacula. Prothorax dark.

Larval host plants 6

Mustard family (Brassicaceae) plants including beach cabbage (Cakile maritima), cultivated cabbage and radish, peppergrass (Lepidium species); and plants in the caper family (Capparidaceae) including nasturtium.

GTM Occurrence 6

The Great Southern White is the most common Pieridae at the GTM. This species occurs on all transects but is most common in the open habitat of Transect A and along the Glasswort Loop (Transect C). It has been observed in all months except February. It is most common in May and June and can be seen on warm days in late Fall and Winter. There have been 455 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Distribution 7

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Neotropics. In US, coast of Gulf of Mexico, S. Texas, and Florida. Sporadic emigration up Mississippi as far north as Kansas and up Atlantic coast as far north as Virginia.

Habitat 8

Comments: Beaches and dunes, salt marshes, coastal plains, offshore islands, sandy flats. Less often disturbed areas.

Nature serve conservation status 9

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread neotropical species. Seasonal migration patterns poorly understood.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Jerry Oldenettel, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/jroldenettel/2143019786/
  2. (c) BJ Stacey, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://www.flickr.com/photos/finaticphotography/8081682504/
  3. (c) Jerry Oldenettel, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/jroldenettel/436423011/
  4. (c) Adam Skowronski, some rights reserved (CC BY-ND), https://www.flickr.com/photos/adam_skowronski/9860664726/
  5. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascia_monuste
  6. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  7. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28749152
  8. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28749157
  9. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28749146

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