Cabbage White Butterfly

cabbage white butterfly female

*image above courtesy genius photographer Darren Greene

The above image is the female Small Cabbage White Butterfly [Pieris rapae], and was taken on one of my garden group hedgerow walks in Ballyboughal.

The small white can look like a [bear with me…] small version of the large white [Pieris brassicae] and should not be confused – but here’s how you spot the difference:

The top of [the small white] its wings is cream white/ almost bleached white in the male with black tips while the females colour is a more cream yellow/ life coffee froth with two black spots in the center of their wings, which is what yuou see above.

The image that we saw first however was this….

cabbage butterfly eggs

The above image is in fact the eggs of the Large Cabbage White Butterfly. This could get mildly confusing I hear you say….but the Small White tends to lay one egg on its own which is light green in colour – almost like a glow in the dark pimple. The eggs above are bright yellow laid in a cluster which makes it that of the Large Cabbage White Butterfly.

Control of these is very simple in that one can just break/ pick off/ crush the eggs – or one can choose to use chemical. I’d nearly grow cabbages just to photograph the eggs again.

2 replies
  1. Jim Daly
    Jim Daly says:

    I spotted a few large whites recently having not seen a single one in over 10 years.

    Up until 20 years or so ago my father grew quite a lot of cabbage in the garden and they were the bane of his life. Everyday he’d meticulously inspect each plant and brush off the eggs.

    There were times the amount of butterflies in the garden resembled a storm of locusts. He’d swat them with an old tennis racket before they could lay.

    btw: Have you seen http://www.irishbutterflies.com/?

  2. peter donegan
    peter donegan says:

    Hi JIm,

    heard of the site, but haven’t been there in a while…. thanks for the reminder.
    love the tennis practice story…. i think I may have actually split my side laughing.

    brilliant. and thank you,
    peter

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