Butterflies of Keele

Small White Pieris rapae

small white male

Small White larva Adults can be confused with the Large White but the black patch at the tip of the wing is much smaller, only spreading a short distance down the wing margin.

As with the Large and Green-veined Whites, males have a single spot on the upperwing while females have two.

The larvae feed on various crucifers and are a well-known pest species on brassicas. Unlike the Large White, Small Whites only lay a few eggs per plant which develop into unicolorous green larvae; quite unlike those of the Large White.

Adults are on the wing from spring to autumn during which time there are 2 or 3 broods. Numbers may be reinforced by immigrants.