The caterpillars of most Whites feed on various species of mustards (Family Brassicaceae), while the caterpillars of most Sulphurs feed on legumes (Family Leguminosae).
Cabbage White Butterfly Pieris rapae
Overview: Cabbage White Butterfly ; Cabbage White is the common name related to species of Genus Pieris. This is a widely distributed butterfly. Considered as agricultural pest; larvae feed on vegetable gardens and crops.
Order : Lepidoptera Lepidoptera is the Order of Butterfly and Moths. One of the five mega diverse orders in class insecta. 120 families described. Lepidoptera species number is not
Order : Lepidoptera They have two pair of membranous wings covered with overlapping scales. Type of antenna is not similar between species. Having a sucking tube mouthpart in adult
Lepidoptera The type of metamorphosi s is Holometabolo usEgg LarvaAdult Pupa
Family : Pieridae More than 1000 species in 75 genera have been described. Mostly white, yellow or orange in color. Pierids display sexual dimorphism in color patterns. This group is cosmopolitan
Family : Pieridae Several species have achieved important agricultural pest status, particularly the small cabbage white (Pieris rapae) There may be more than one generation per year. Females lay columnar eggs on leaves, buds or stems. Usually they overwinter as larvae or pupae.
Pieris spp Characteristics: The two important species of this genus are P. brassicae Large white and P. rapae Small white butterfly. These two species are distinguished by their size, the black tips of their forewing, also by color of their caterpillar. Two submarginal black spots in the female and one in the male. The adult typically lives about three weeks in summer.
Egg: :Egg: Their Eggs are pale yellow, bottle shaped and rigid. Pieris rapae took about twenty minutes to lay its cluster of eggs on the underside of some vegetable leaves . The number of eggs may also be as large as 1,000.
Larvae: Larvae are camouflaged by coloration. Bears pairs of prolegs, there are five instars Feeds on plants(Brassica family-cabbage-) Larval stage takes 17 days. And reaches 50mm length. Yellow spots are visible on the sides of the instars.
Pupa: The pupation stage lasts around 11 days The chrysalis is about 18 to 20 mm in length Pupa stage lives over the winter. Having a rigid outer shell.
Habitat and Behavior: Habitat is almost any type of open space, including weedy areas, gardens,roadsides, cities, and suburbs. Female is active during the day, with slow lumbering flight; male flies in a straight line. Smelling sense of the insect is very specific, and in case of choice between different cruciferous species and varieties, The severity of cabbage white problems can vary considerably from year to year
References:Books: Cleveland P. Hickman, Jr., Larry S. Roberts, Allan Larson (2002). Animal diversity 3rd edition Grzimek’s animal life encyclopedia.— 2nd edition.(2004)Research articles:* K. Jõgar, L. Metspalu, K. Hiiesaar, A. Ploomi, E. Svilponis, A. Kuusik, (2009) Influence of white cabbage cultivars on oviposition preference of the Pieris rapae• Scott R. Smedley, Frank C. Schroeder, Douglas B. Weibel (2002) . Labile defensive lipids from the glandular hairs of a caterpillar (Pieris rapae)Websites: http://socalbutterflies.com//pieridae_html/pieris_rapae. htm