Pieris rapae

Small White


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
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Coimbra, Portugal, October 2019

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Vaud, Switzerland, July 2012

Field notes and information

One of the two cabbage whites. It is one of the most successful butterfly species in the world. It has colonised almost all regions of the earth through accidental introductions - truly adaptable. It is also usually very common or even abundant and it is a pest in some places.

Identification & Similar species: It is very similar to the other small whites (formerly in the genus Artogeia). It is by far the commonest species of this group in most locations, but the other species can also be common where they do occur so care is needed, particularly in southern Europe.

Distribution & Flight: A near worldwide distribution from the hottest semi-deserts to the arctic. It flies from early spring to the end of the autumn in multiple broods or continuously where possible for example on the Canary Islands.

Habitat & Behaviour: It prefers open places in all habitats from woodland, meadowland and mountains to urban areas. The larvae feed on a wide range of plants, principally, but not exclusively, the cabbages Cruciferae.

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Gran Canaria, Spain, April 2011

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Jura, France, June 2022

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2013

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Crete, Greece, October 2017

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Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

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Gran Canaria, Spain, March 2016

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Vaud, Switzerland, September 2014

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Valais, Switzerland, March 2019

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Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

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Crete, Greece, April 2014

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N Tenerife, Spain, April 2012

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Burgos, Spain, July 2011

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2006

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2011

With particularly heavy dusting on the underside. A possible A. mannii.

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N Tenerife, Spain, April 2012

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N Tenerife, Spain, April 2012

A dramatic chase.

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Fuerteventura, Spain, February 2014

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2007