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 green-veined white   <>   pieris  napi   <>   bánóg uaine

Green-veined White, Mountseskin, Co Dublin, 29/05/'05
                                                                    © D Hardiman    

HabitatThe Green-veined White is Ireland's most plentiful and widespread species and is found in damp meadows, wood margins and along hedgerows and ditches.
It has two annual broods. 

flight time:  Late April to early June
                          July to mid August

Larval Food Plant:  
                            Lady's-smock  Cardamine pratensis
                            Garlic Mustard  Alliaria petiolata  
                            Watercress  Rorippa-nasturtium     
                            and other members of the Cabbage
Hibernation:   Overwinters as a pupa 

The Green-veined White can readily be distinguished from other Whites by the dark green veins on the yellow underside of its hind wings.  The intensity of the colour of the veins on the upper side is greater for the second brood.


       Female Green-Veined White 
                   © DHardiman 2002


Life Cycle of  the Green-veined White


The spindle-shaped egg is laid singly in an upright  position on the underside of  leaves in May and in July /August.  It is  c.1.2 mm tall and initially pale glossy yellow coloured becoming greenish and eventually white.  Hatching occurs within a week.

Green-veined White ovum, Glynwood, Co Westmeath, 2003

Ovum  on Garlic Mustard
       © DHardiman 2003

The fully grown larva is green  with small black pinaculae bearing black and white setae.  The spiracles are black and surrounded by bright yellow circles.  The first five instars and the larval stage of this butterfly lasts approximately 18 days.  Larvae can be found from early May to early July and again from August to early September.

© DHardiman 2003


Pupation takes place away from the food plant and  low down in dense vegetation.  The pupa is suspended by its cremaster and silken girdle from the plant stem.  This pupal stage takes approximately 10 days when first brood butterflies emerge.  Second brood pupae Overwinter  in this pupal state which takes c.7 months with second brood butterflies emerging the following spring.

Green-veined White pupa

© DHardiman 2002


Adults emerge in late April or early May and mating takes place.


Female Green-veined White butterfly, Co. Dublin 11/05/'06

GVW mating, Mountseskin, Co Dublin, 29/05/'05
  Female Green-veined White butterfly 
 Green-veined White butterflies mating            
                                         © DHardiman 



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Hesperidae ] Pieridae ] Lycaenidae ] Nymphalidae ] Satyridae ] Migrants ] .