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wood white   <>   leptidea  sinapis   <>   bánóg choille - CRYPTIC WOOD WHITE LEPTIDEA JUVERNICA

   ©DHardiman 2005


Habitat:   The Wood White is widespread especially along hedgerows, woodland margins and scrub.  It is plentiful in the Burren and is also notably found along railway cuttings.  
It has one brood in the northern part of Ireland but two broods have been reported for the Burren.

Flight time:   Mid-May to end of June
                         Mid-July to mid-August

Larval Food Plants:  
                               Bird's-foot-trefoil  Lotus corniculatus
                                Meadow Vetchling  Lathyrus pratensis
Vetches   Vicia spp
Hibation:   Overwinters as a pupa 


The adult has a characteristic weak flight, often less than a meter from the ground.  In a light breeze it has difficulty making progress.  At rest, the wings are held vertically above the body.  
Recent work confirms that the Wood White in Ireland consists of two species. L. sinapis appears to be confined to limestone pavement areas of Cos Clare and Galway and L. juvernica is widespread elsewhere. But the two species are only distinguished  by examination of their reproductive parts.

  • Leptidea sinapis and 

  • Leptidea  juvernica


  Life Cycle of  the Wood White



Single eggs are usually found on the underside of the food plant from mid-May to the end of June.  
They are spindle-shaped and initially a creamy-white colour, changing in time to light yellow.     
The eggs hatch within three weeks. 


Wood White ovum on underside of Birdsfoot Trefoil leaf. July '05.

Wood  White Ovum 
          © DHardiman 2005  


WW the Burren, CoClare

Wood White ovipositing, Burren, Clare   © DHardiman 2005



Larvae may be found in late June and July (also between late August and September if there is a  
second brood). This larval stage can last between one and two months.  
When fully grown, it is almost cylindrical in shape and bright green in colour with a darker green 
mediodorsal  stripe and a spiracular yellow stripe.


Wood White larva

© DHardiman 2002



In August/September pupation takes place in dense vegetation when the mature larva spins a silk pad 
on the plant stem from which the pupa is suspended by its cremasteral hooks and silken girdle.
It overwinters in this pupal stage. 


    © DHardiman 2002



The adult emerges the following May.


Wood White, Moycullen, Galway, 27//07/08

 Wood White, Moycullen, Galway           © DHardiman 2008



Wood White, Longford.     2009

 Wood White, Longford                      © DHardiman 2009


Wood White, Lullymore, Kildare, 29/04/07

 Wood White, Lullymore, Kildare          © DHardiman 2007



Wood White, the Burren, Clare 16/05/10

 Wood White, Burren, Clare 16/05/10    © DHardiman 2010


Wood White, the Burren, Clare, 10/06/04

 Wood White romancing, male at left, the Burren, Clare, 
                                                          © DHardiman 2005



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