About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One of the most common butterflies

The Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) is one of the most common butterflies in the U.S. and around the world. Flying around from late February to mid-November, they are one of the first butterflies to be seen in the spring, and one of the last to be seen in the fall.

Cabbage Whites are yet another non-native species that were introduced to America from Europe around 1860. About two inches wide, they are mostly white with black markings and spots on the top of their wings. Underneath, the wings are yellowish-green.

Males and females can be told apart easily by their wing spots. Males only have one spot on each wing, while females have two.

The larva is a bluish green with faint yellow stripes on the side and back. They can be found in gardens on a wide variety of members of the mustard family, including cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.

Cabbage white butterflies start out as larvae or caterpillars that hatch from tiny eggs that are laid by an adult butterfly. After eating, growing and shedding their skin 5 times they turn into a chrysalis and undergo a metamorphosis. It does not eat during this stage. The pupa stage lasts a few days during the summer but in the fall they will overwinter in the pupa stage, and an adult butterfly emerges in the spring.

Related Articles:

No comments: