Small Cabbage White Butterfly

The Small Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) is a common and widespread butterfly in the family Pieridae (Yellows and Whites). It is a medium sized butterfly with wingspan 45mm-50mm. The upperside is creamy white with black tips to the forewings. Males have one and females have two black spots in the center of the forewings. The underside forewing is black speckled at basal and creamy white at center with yellowish tip and having two prominent black spots and one obscure black spot near the tip. The hindwing is yellowish with black speckles.
As you know that the small white butterfly is a pest on cultivated cabbages and other mustard family crops. Today I observed a few female butterflies laying eggs on my recently grown vegetables including cauliflowers, radishes, turnips and mustard green. In the above picture you see a female in action, laying egg on small radish plant. The plants are so small, except cauliflower plants, which I bought from a nursery. I didn't opt to catch and kill the butterflies, rather decided that I will observe the plants and if the damage by the caterpillars cross the limit then, I will spray pesticide. Being a butterfly lover, it will be very difficult situation for me, but hopefully the damage will not cross the limit and this will bring me an opportunity to document the life cycle of the butterfly.

Small White Butterfly
Small Cabbage White Butterfly
Female Laying Egg
Small Cabbage White Butterfly
Small Cabbage White Butterfly
Small Cabbage White Butterfly Male Underside
Small Cabbage White Butterfly
Small Cabbage White Butterfly Male Upperside


Ayuni said...

It is so cute......

Andrea said...

Yes Birdy i see lots of them here too. Do they eat all vegies in the Brassica family, e.g. mustard and pechay, not only cabbage? BTW, you have not seen yet my new post, hehe

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Wonderful shots Birdy. Love the capture of it laying its egg.

I checked up on those caterpillars and they do belong to our Cabbage White.

birdy said...

Asalmu Alaikum Ayuni!
Thanks for your visit and comment.

Thanks Andrea! They do eat many veggies in Brassica family, but not sure about all. We grow four varieties of mustard green in which three are eaten by the cats of white cabbage, but never saw their eggs or cats on the fourth variety (known as white mustard green by our farmers). Thanks for the reminder about your new post. I enjoyed reading your post.

Thanks Joan for appreciation and liking the image.
I'm sorry for creating a confusion. Actually the cats you post were quite different from the cats of large cabbage white found in our area. You can see the pictures of large cabbage white butterfly on my blog post:
large Cabbage White Butterfly Lifecycle

yas said...

It is wonderful you are keeping some details your observation.
Many wonderful shots!

QueenBebop said...


Levonne said...

Birdy, Thanks for visiting Levonne's Pretty Pics! Your comments are most welcomed. I like your focus on butterflies! Neat blog.

kanak7 said...

fascinating photography! And thanks for all that info. I loved the egg-laying picture and the ones of the c.whites being devoured by spiders.

Levonne said...

Birdy, Thanks for following Levonne's Pretty Pics. If I were going to push my photos up a level, what would you recommend I do? I would encourage you to experiment with photo editing software. Levonne's Pretty Pics

jalalHB said...

Being an amature photographer, I like pics by others. I appreciate your love for nature and knowledge sharing since many shoot but do not know what the subject is.

macaco said...

Great serie, beautiful butterflies shots.