- Subfamily: Pierinae - Pierini
- Wingspan: 40-55 mm
- Flight period: Mar - Oct
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Asteraceae - Brassicaceae - Tropaeolaceae
The Pieris rapae also known as Small White is a medium-sized butterfly of the Pieridae family with a wingspan of 40-55 mm.
It is distributed throughout Europe, including Isalanda, in Italy it is also present in the islands. *
The Pieris rapae is very similar to the Pieris brassicae but is distinguished from it by its decidedly smaller size, In fact, also Pieris rapae , like many belonging to the genus Pieris, has a pure white background color of the upper page of the wings The sexual dimorphism is evidenced by the presence in the males of a roundish and poorly defined dark spot, on the superior page of the fore wings, in the females there are two spots, of a more marked black. The hind wings have a greyish dusting below which is more evident in the males. **
Polivoltina flickers from March to October and usually winters in the pupa state. In Italy it is present everywhere, from the basal to the mountain level (up to 2000 m).
Fast-flying, it makes frequent stops on the flowers, and can be found in grassy environments of any type and also in large cultivated environments.
The larvae have a green integument with a black micro-dot, a dorsal line and yellow lateral spots, they are normally present from March to November, and thanks to their coloring, well camouflaged in the vegetation. Pupae can be found all year round, on any type of vertical support. It overwinters at the pupa stage, and if the winter is particularly mild it can also overwinter at the larva stage.
The caterpillar feeds on various species of the Brassicaceae family both wild and cultivated. You can also meet on the leaves of these plants: Aster sedifolius (fam. Asteraceae), Tropaeolum sp. (Fam. Tropaeolaceae).
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/