Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
Description: Besides Mustard White, the only predominantly white butterfly in the Maritimes. It is distinguished from Mustard White by the presence of a black spot on the forewing (two spots in females) and black patch on the forewing tip. Wingspan: 32 to 47 mm.
Maritime Distribution: Throughout the Maritimes. For Atlas results click here.
Provincial Ranks: NB: SE. NS: SE. PEI: SE.
Flight Period: Late April to mid September.
Host Plant: A variety of mustard species (Brassicaceae), including agricultural species like broccoli and cabbage.
Notes: Cabbage White can be found in wide variety of habitats, including highly developed urban areas, agricultural areas, fields and coastal dunes. First introduced in Quebec in the 1860s, this species is now found throughout southern Canada and the United States.
It is one of our most common and familiar species, the larva known to most vegetable gardeners as the “cabbage worm”. A rare all yellow form has been found several times in the Halifax area.