Cabbage White, Pieris rapae
Pieridae or White and Sulphur Family

Adult

A small butterfly, about an inch and a half across. Wings white, with black spots and black markings at the tip on the upper side, visible below. Sips nectar and moisture from flowers, puddles, or dung with a long tongue. There are several generations each year, and their appearance varies with the season; the early flying spring form have no, or very pale markings and are called the "immaculata" form (below right).

The larva is a small green caterpillar, called the cabbageworm, that feeds on members of the mustard family. As many mustards are important farm and garden crops, this makes the cabbageworm a major agricultural pest.

Native of Europe, North Africa, and Asia, it is an introduced pest in North America, Australia and New Zealand. In my opinion, this may be our commonest butterfly, and it is frequently seen in Wildwood from spring to autumn.

In the spring, could be confused with the bluish spring moth, which has more elaborate markings on the wings.

Two adults
Adult

 

Adult Spring "Immaculata" form

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