Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Pieridae (pee-AIR-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Pieris (pee-AIR-iss) (Info)
Species: rapae (RAP-ee) (Info)

Regional

This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Marion, Arkansas
, British Columbia
Canoga Park, California
San Francisco, California
Greeley, Colorado
Boca Raton, Florida
Quincy, Florida
Algonquin, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
Galva, Illinois
Princeton, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Yale, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Millersville, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Algonac, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Butte, Montana
Missoula, Montana
Lincoln, Nebraska
Maplewood, New Jersey
Marlton, New Jersey
Buffalo, New York
Kingston, New York
Warwick, New York
, Newfoundland and Labrador
Dayton, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Lebanon, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Gold Hill, Oregon
Alexandria, Pennsylvania
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Fort Worth, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
Chewelah, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Pullman, Washington
Show all

Members' Notes:

2
positives
3
neutrals
3
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Jul 26, 2006, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

Identification: Upperside of wings white; forewing with black tip. Two submarginal black spots in female, one in male. Underside of hindwing and forewing apex evenly yellow-green or gray-green. Spring and fall short-day form is smaller, less yellow, with reduced black areas.

Caterpillar hosts: Many plants in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family and occasionally some in the caper family (Capparidaceae).

Adult food: Flower nectar from a very wide array of plants including mustards, dandelion, red clover, asters, and mints.

Habitat: Almost any type of open space including weedy areas, gardens, roadsides, cities, and suburbs.

Range: From central Canada south through the United States (except Florida Keys, southern Louisiana, and Sout... read more

Negative

On Nov 13, 2006, woofie from Chewelah, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I found this comment on several websites as I was looking for information on this bug (which is also known as Cabbage Butterfly):

"The infested foliage is toxic upon consumption by animals. "

Neutral

On Feb 13, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

They are one of the most common butterflies around, coming in on the first warm winds (50 to 60 degree) during early spring - have seen them in Minnesota in April. Since they eat mustard family, they eat many weeds. The negative is that they limit ornamental lettuce to the cooler days around the edges of the growing season as their caterpillars (fairly small and green) will leaves lots of holes in ornamental lettuce and to find them you have to look under the leaves. They are also one of the last to leave in the fall - even coming back after the first frost. They are always searching for host plants or mates. In the Midwest 80 to 90% of white butterflies are this species, the other % white phase of Yellow Sulphur or rarer whites. To id White phase of Sulphur you have to be lucky up close o... read more

Positive

On Aug 17, 2009, SusanLouise from Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love all butterflies...and it's such a joy to see the 1st one in the Spring. I plant Cleome' for them...it's one of their host plants...

Positive

On Sep 16, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

The Butterfly (white) Pieris rapae is also known as a Cabbage Butterfly. They were already in Europe, North America, Hawaii and Asia, arriving in New Zealand around 1930, and now breed about six generations a year in the north, and about 3 generations in the south. The male is distinguished by the two black spots on his wings.
The caterpillars are major pests in gardens and market gardens. They eat cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, swedes, turnips and nasturtiums. Infact they eat any cruciferous plant containing mustard oil.

Neutral

On Apr 18, 2013, Phellos from Port Vincent, LA wrote:

Extremely rare in this part of Louisiana! We're lucky if we see more than one or two migrants despite the fact that there are different types of mustard and caper, both cultivated and wild, every where one looks!

Negative

On Jul 17, 2013, drobarr from Hummelstown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very common to see this pest flying around in July and August in central PA. The worm of this pest infests fall sown crucifers.

Negative

On Feb 4, 2015, Chillybean from Near Central, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I will give this species a negative because it is not native, but I will not use poisonous means to kill any. The children are given a quarter for each adult they catch; we sometimes use Green Bug, but are careful not to put any on flowers to harm pollinators; and we encourage birds to nest here by not using harmful chemicals on lawn or plants. The Chipping Sparrows are one bird that seem to specifically hunt for this bug, both the larvae and adult.