27 April 2021

Bath White – Wadi Thee Ghazal

Whilst birding Bilasmer I found a Bath White Pontia daplidice. This is a small butterfly of the family Pieridae, the yellows and whites, which occurs in the Palearctic region. It is a small white butterfly with a wingspan of 45 to 50 mm. The underside of the hindwing has a pattern of greenish blotches, which is characteristic of the Bath whites and easily identifies it from other pierids. Sexes can be differentiated by markings on the forewing. The male is differentiated from the female by the markings on the upperside of the forewing. The apex of the forewing is black with white spots and lines. There is a black spot at the end of the cell. In the case of the female, there is an additional discal spot in 1b. The female also has an obscure row of terminal and marginal spots on the upper hindwing. They have a wingspan of 52–56 mm and occur commonly in central and southern Europe, Asia Minor, Persia and Afghanistan, migrating northwards in the summer. It is usually found on dry slopes and rough ground with little vegetation.The host plants of the larvae are in the family Brassicaceae and vary according to locality. They include tower mustard (Arabis glabra) and sea rocket (Cakile maritima). The subspecies found in Saudi Arabia is Pontia daplidice aethiops which occurs in the highlands of Ethiopia, south-western Arabia, Near East and Afghanistan.