Small White
Animals, Butterflies, Moths

Scientific name: Pieris rapae

A small strong-flying butterfly, common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland.

Brilliant white wings with small black tips to forewings and one or two wing spots. Undersides creamy white. Large White is similar but larger and has larger spot in tip of forewing that extends down wing edge.

Location:
England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
Specific name:
Pieris rapae
Habitat:
A common butterfly found in a variety of habitats particularly gardens and allotments
Height:
Wing Span Range (male to female): 48mm
Weight:
Medium
Population:
Widespread throughout Britain and Ireland. Distribution trend in Britain since the 1970s = -7%

Size and Family

  • Family: Whites and yellows
  • Size: Medium
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 48mm

Conservation Status

  • Butterfly Conservation priority: Low
  • European status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplants

Cultivated brassicas are used, especially cabbages, and Nasturtium (Tropaeoleum majus) in gardens. Wild crucifers, including Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea), Charlock (Sinapis arvensis). Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba) and Wild Mignonette (Reseda lutea) are used to a lesser extent.

Habitat

A common butterfly found in a variety of habitats particularly gardens and allotments where cabbages are grown.

Distribution

  • Countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
  • Widespread throughout Britain and Ireland
  • Distribution trend in Britain since the 1970s = -7%