The Pieridae are a large family of butterflies with about 76 genera containing about 1,100 species.
Mainly found in tropical areas of Africa and Asia.
Most pierid butterflies are white, yellow or orange, often with black spots. The pigments that give the distinct coloring for these butterflies are derived from waste products in the body and are a feature of this family. *
The English name of butterflies is believed to originate from a specific member of this family - Gonepteryx rhamni -, which was called the "butter-colored fly" by the first English naturalists.
The larvae (caterpillars) of some of these species, such as Pieris brassicae and Pieris rapae, are common in gardens and are known agricultural pests.
* Carter, David (2000). Butterflies and Moths.