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Pieris rapae

Image of Cabage White butterfly

(Cabbage White)




Pieris rapae

Common name

Cabbage White

Main colour(s)


Distinctive features

Wingspan 44/44 mm; white with black spot(s)


Townsville area


Food plants are chiefly in the cabbage family (Brassicaceae/Cruciferae). They seem to prefer plants that produce mustard oils. Around Townsville these butterflies are chiefly seen associated with the introduced weed, Cleome viscosa, tickweed. Mature larvae are green to yellow to about 3 cm long, body covered in numerous short hairs; head same colour as body. Adults are white/cream on upper surface, fore wings with blackish tips and one or two black spots per wing, lower surface with yellow tinge and often black speckles.