Facts about Cabbage White butterfly

12 facts about Cabbage White butterfly

Small white (Pieris rapae)

Cabbage White butterfly is one of the most common white butterfly species in North America. They were accidentally introduced to Quebec in Canada in 1860 and rapidly spread throughout the entire continent. So far, they didn't conquer South America.
Its Latin name is Pieris rapae, and it's a member of the Pieridae family.
They originated from southeastern European regions of the Mediterranean sea.
Nowadays, it is widespread across Europe and Asia. It managed to reach North Africa, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Till now, this species didn't get to South America.
They are similar to the Large white butterfly (Pieris brassicae) but smaller.
Their wings are creamy white on the upperside and yellowish on wings' underside. Black spots appear on both fore and hind wings. Forewings upper corners may be dark grey. The butterfly's body is covered with dense hair, which is white in females and darker in males. They are being mistaken for moth because of their plain colors. The wingspan of small white is 32 to 47 mm (1.3–1.9 in).
Larvae are green.
After the first stage, a yellow line running along the center of the back appears. A series of yellow spots emerge on each side, sometimes looking more like a dashed than a dotted line.
They are active during the day.
Adult butterflies spend days looking for a nectar of a plant. They tend to feed on flower species they're already familiar with.
The cabbage butterfly prefers purple, blue, and yellow flowers most.
There are two generations of this butterfly a year.
The first one appears in April–May and the second in July–August. Given favorable weather conditions, three broods are possible. Larvae hatch after three days from being laid.
Life cycle of the Small white butterfly starts with an egg, then passing through 5 larval stages and transitions through a pupa to an adult organism.
It takes them about 30 days, depending on environment temperature, to reach an adult stage from an egg.
Lifespan of adult form of  this butterfly is estimated for 3 weeks.
Three days after emerging from chrysalis they are able to mate. Males are patrolling in search for females.
The female produces 300 to 400 eggs.
After conception, a female lays yellowish eggs singly on a leaves' underside.
Larval stage of cabbage white is considered a serious pest and can do a lot of harm to agriculture.
They are very voracious and feed mainly on cabbages, kale, radish, horseradish, and broccoli. Annual damage done by caterpillars is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
They live in a variety of habitats.
During spring, summer, and autumn, small whites can be seen in meadows, woods, clearings, bogs, and home gardens.