Cabbage White Butterfly

A Cabbage White Butterfly on a celery leaf

Scientific Name: Pieris rapae

Size: Wingspan 40 mm

What does it look like?

The Cabbage White Butterfly is identified by white to yellowish-white colouration of wings and the presence of two black spots on the underside of each forewing. Upper surface of forewings tipped blackish. Female has six similarly-sized spots on the upperwing surface, two on each forewing and one on each hindwing; male has one conspicuous spot on each wing, the second spot on the forewing is greatly reduced or absent. Caterpillar bright green, with sparse, short hairs.


Where is it found?

Patchily distributed throughout Australia, but more common in east and southeast mainland and Tas.

What are its habitats & habits?

The Cabbage White Butterfly is common in suburban gardens, wherever larval food plants grow, mainly brassicas (cabbage family). Adults feed on nectar from flowers and fly erratically from plant to plant. Female lays an egg on the underside of the leaf of the larvae food plant. Regarded as a pest of commercial and household vegetable crops.

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A Naturaliust's Guide to the Butterflies of Australia cover

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Butterflies of Australia

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