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small white   <>   pieris  rapae   <> bánóg bheag

Small White Butterfly, Nth Co. Dublin, August '05
© DHardiman 2005 

Habitat:   The Small White like the Large White is widespread and common especially in gardens and waste ground. 
Two or three broods occur annually. 

Flight Time:   April and May
                        July and early August

Larval Food Plant:   
  Members of the Brassica family
  Garden Nasturtium  Trapaeolum 
  majus
Hibernation:   Overwinters as a pupa. 

Numbers are often increased by immigration.

 

Small White Butterfly, Nth Co. Dublin, August '05

Small White             © DHardiman 2005

 

                                                                                                      

 Life Cycle of  the
Small White

 

Ovum:
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.

© DHardiman 2002 

They are rounded,  almost conical in shape and  c.1.0 mm high.
They hatch  within days in warm weather but can take up to 7 days. 

 

Larva:
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 spiracles. 
The body is covered with small black tubercles each containing a short  seta.  
The larval stage lasts c.20 days before pupation.

 © DHardiman 2001

 

Pupa:
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. 

©DHardiman2001  

First generation pupae produce butterflies in c.3 weeks while the final generation overwinters  in this stage, producing butterflies the following April.

 

Adult:
The adults emerges at the end of April and mating takes place.  They survive for approximately 3 weeks.


 

 Contents ]

 WoodWhite ] Brimstone ] LargeWhite ] [ SmallWhite ] Green-veinedWhite ] OrangeTip ] 

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