New York Natural Heritage Program
West Virginia White
Pieris virginiensis W. H. Edwards, 1870
Insects
West Virginia White Tom LeBlanc
Family: Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae)

State Protection: Not Listed
The species is not listed or protected by New York State.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S3
A State Rarity Rank of S3 means: Typically 21 to 100 occurrences, limited acreage, or miles of stream in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G3?
A Global Rarity Rank of G3? means: Vulnerable globally (most likely) - Conservation status is uncertain, but most likely at moderate risk of extinction due to rarity or other factors; typically 80 or fewer populations or locations in the world, few individuals, restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or recent and widespread declines. More information is needed to assign a firm conservation status.


Did you know?
The major foodplants for the caterpillars of West Virginia White butterflies are two species of toothwort (Dentaria diphylla and less often Dentaria laciniata), both are common northeastern early spring woodland wildlflowers. These may be the only foodplants in New york but in some other areas rock cress (Arabis laevigata) is also used. Females will lay eggs on then invasive garlic mustard but this plant is toxic to the larvae.

State Ranking Justification [-]
Although it has been documented from 30 or more locations since the late 1990's, and additional locations are undoubtedly undocumented, this species is experiencing declines in substantial portions of its range. It appears to generally occur in small populations, depends on just two larval host plants, and is noted as not being a strong colonizer of new sites; all intrinsic factors that lead to vulnerability. The spread of garlic mustard, which is toxic to caterpillars, and the loss of foodplant populations in some areas due to overbrowsing by deer, are threats that will likely be very difficult to reduce.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]