Pontia beckeri

Pontia beckeri

Beginner Rearing Instructions: Becker's White

Photo Life History:  Pontia beckeri

Habitat:  Mountain Canyons; Pinyon Juniper; Agricultural Areas; Desert Hills & Mountains

Host Plants: Brassica nigra; Stanleya pinnata; Cleome serrulata; Isatis tinctoria; Descurainia pinnata; Sisymbrium altissimum; Sisymbrium irio; Streptanthella longirostris

Suitable Lab Host Plants: Almost any mustard will serve in the lab.  Avoid Descurainia sophia.

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Feed females regularly

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Portable Cages; Open Screen Cages  (Females can be quite prolific at laying dozens if not hundreds of eggs in the lab.)

How to Find Eggs: Look on Flower Buds; Look on Upper Half of Plant

How to Hatch Eggs:  Separate eggs individually.

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:  Look for Caterpillar Strip Patterns.  (This is especially obvious for P. beckeri.)

Caterpillar setups:  Open Bucket; Twin Cup Method

Larva to Pupa:  Larva Changes Color

How to Find Pupae in the Field:

Number of Broods per Year: 2-3 broods; depending upon location.

Overwintering Stage:  Pupa. 

Overwintering Strategies: Your Own Backyard; Refrigerator

Post-Hibernation Strategies: Expose pupae to warmer temperatures, long-day photoperiod, and intermittant humidity (mist spray with water once or twice a day).

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:   Provide larvae with healthy host plant

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant and remove frass every five to six days using the open bucket method.

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes: This butterfly can be especially common along the Colorado Plateau, San Rafael Swell, Utah's West Desert, and other semi-arid areas where any of its larval host plants thrive.