New York Natural Heritage Program
Olympia Marble
Euchloe olympia (W.H. Edwards, 1871)
Insects

General Description [-]
Olympia marble adults are mostly white with open, simplified yellow-green marbling on the underside of the hindwing, and a black bar in the forewing. The caterpillar is mostly gray-green, with yellow subdorsal stripes.

Identifying Characteristics [-]
Olympia marble adults are mostly white with open, simplified yellow-green marbling on the underside of the hindwing, and a black bar in the forewing cell (Opler and Malikul 1992). Males have a forewing width of 1.5-2.1 cm, and females have a forewing width of 1.6-2.3 cm (Opler and Krizek 1984). Living Olympia marbles have a ventral hindwing with a pink-tinged band along the costal margin (Opler and Krizek 1984). The caterpillar is mostly gray-green, with yellow subdorsal stripes (Opler and Malikul 1992). Caterpillars also have sublateral white stripes bordered by yellow beneath them.

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
The marbling on the underside of the hindwing is usually the most visible and easily identifiable characteristic for this species.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
Adult.

Behavior [-]
Flight is steady, direct and close to the ground. Males tend to fly along ridges and hilltops (Opler and Krizek 1984, Opler and Malikul 1992).

Diet [-]
Foodplants include rock cresses, chickweed, houstonia, and phlox. Caterpillar host plants are rock cresses frequently Arabis X divaricarpa in New York (Stanton 1997, Parshall 2002).
Olympia Marble Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
Olympia Marbles have one brood per year, and they overwinter as pupa (Holmes et al. 1991, Parshall 2002). Adults emerge in May and are active through June. The female lays single eggs on flower buds and leaves of the host plant in May or June, where the eggs remain until hatching approximately seven days later. Larvae feed on the host plant‘s flower buds, flowers, seedpods, and sometimes leaves, until forming a chrysalis, usually occurring in June.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Reproducing Larvae present and active Eggs present outside adult Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find Olympia Marble reproducing (red shading), larvae present and active (blue shading), eggs present outside adult (green shading) and pupae or prepupae present (orange shading) in New York.
Similar Species
  • Falcate Orangetip (Anthocharis midea)
    The Olympia marble is similar in appearance to the Falcate Orangetip, also found in New York (Opler and Malikul 1992). These two species can be distinguished by the Falcate Orangetip‘s highly fractured green pattern on the underside of the hindwing, and the orange tip of the forewing‘s upperside in males