Pieris mannii

Southern Small White


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
Photo: mannii24.jpg

Vaud, Switzerland, April 2010

Photo: mannii56.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, March 2012

Field notes and information

One of the small whites, can common in southern Europe but usually accompanied by the very common small white P. rapae.

Identification & Similar species: The other small whites are similar. This species has black marks on margin of the upperside forewing on the veins extending towards the cell spot. The cell spot in turn may have black marks along the veins running towards the margin. The underside hindwing mottled scaling is fairly uniform across most of the surface, in the small white P. rapae there is a sharp line in the cell where the scaling is absent.

Distribution & Flight: Usually rather local but often common in southern Europe to northern Switzerland. It's been extending its range within Switzerland since about 2008, possibly earlier. It's one of the earliest butterflies to emerge in spring and it flies throughout the year in a succession of distinct broods.

Habitat & Behaviour: Woodland clearings, gardens etc with flowers for nectar. Larvae feed on candy tuft (Iberis sempervirens) which is a common garden plant and in Switzerland also on bladderpod, Allyssoides utriculatum.

Variation: In general the spring butterflies have paler uppersides with less extensive black markings than subsequent broods while the underside hindwings are more heavily suffused with black scales.

Photo: mannii70.jpg

Valais, Switzerland July 2014

Photo: mannii69.jpg

Valais, Switzerland July 2014

Black scales at margin along veins from cell are visible.

Photo: mannii31.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, May 2009

Photo: mannii16.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, July 2006

Photo: mannii37.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, April 2006

Photo: mannii54.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, June 2011

Photo: mannii18.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, April 2010

Photo: mannii46.jpgPhoto: mannii8.jpgPhoto: mannii10.jpgPhoto: mannii7.jpgPhoto: mannii9.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, April 2009

Egg laying and eggs on the larval foodplant bladderpod, Allyssoides utriculatum.

Photo: mannii57.jpgPhoto: mannii58.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, March 2012

Photo: mannii88.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, May 2022

Photo: mannii5.jpg

Provence, France, September 2003 (m)

A summer generation. Characteristic black lines connect spot in space 3 of forewing - clearly visible on left wing.

Photo: mannii76.jpg

Vaud, Switzerland, September 2020

Photo: mannii73.jpgPhoto: mannii87.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, April 2020

Photo: mannii12.jpgPhoto: mannii13.jpg

Valais, Switzerland, April 2009

Egg laying and eggs on the larval foodplant bladderpod, Allyssoides utriculatum.