Wildlife & Nature to See in June : Green-veined White

Wildlife to See in June : Green-veined White

© Laurie Campbell: Green-veined White Butterfly.

© Laurie Campbell: Green-veined White Butterfly.

The final in my winged trilogy, is the subtly delicate Green-veined White (Pieris napi), which I was fortunate enough to see during a trip to Kent.

Just like it says on the tin, the green-veined white is similar to other ‘cabbage’ whites, but distinguishable by the broad green ribs under its wings. Both male and female have dark marks on their wings, although the female has more, and is slightly larger.

Green-veined whites can be seen flying between April and October across Britain, particularly favouring flowering meadows, forest edges, paths and ditches. The green-veined white is one of the world’s most adaptable species, and breeds successfully in a variety of environments across Europe, Asia and America.

The butterfly lays its eggs on the undersides of leaves, and these hatch into a larva within 5 days. The larva is green in colour and covered with short hairs, feeding on a variety of plants, such as Garlic Mustard, Water-Cress and Wild Cabbage. Although these plants are also eaten by Orange-tip butterflies, the species don’t compete, as they enjoy different parts of the same plants. After the larval stage is complete (around 18 days) a pupa is formed, either green or brown, which protects the developing butterfly from the winter climate.

It’s a rare pleasure to write about a creature which isn’t listed as endangered or declining, and hopefully the adaptability of the Green-veined white will see its population continue to stay strong.


Article by Lizzy Dening You can follow Lizzy on Twitter or go to her website