Cycle of the Small
Eggs are laid singly under a leaf of the food plant, preferably
in a sheltered position.
Initially straw-coloured but becoming a darker yellow within a few days.
They are rounded, almost conical in shape and c.1.0 mm
They hatch within days in warm weather but can take up to 7 days.
The larva is green in colour and well camouflaged. It has a
narrow pale yellow-green dorsal stripe and two distinctive yellow spots on each segment along the line of the
The body is covered with small black tubercles each containing a
The larval stage lasts c.20 days before pupation.
© DHardiman 2001
Larvae of the spring generation often pupate on their food plant
but those of a later generation leave their food plant to pupate on fences, windowsills etc. The pupae are held in position by a cremaster and a silken girdle spun by mature larvae.
First generation pupae produce butterflies in c.3 weeks
while the final generation overwinters
stage, producing butterflies the following April.
The adults emerges at the end of
April and mating takes place. They survive for approximately 3