Small White (Pieris rapae)


Although like the Large White another cabbage and Nasturtium-eater, Small Whites more often lay their eggs on wild plants. There are two flight periods, from April to early June and again from late June to September or October. In addition, numbers are augmented in some years by immigrants.

Both sexes have greyish wingtips and the male has a single spot on the forewing while the female has two, usually more nearly black than grey. In both, the underside of the hindwing is a delicate yellow. Care is needed to separate them when in flight from Green-veined Whites that are on the wing at the same time. A close look is needed to see the latter’s vein markings.


Images L-R: Male; underwing; caterpillar


Flight period: April to October


Distribution map:


Small White