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Small White / Small Cabbage White. Pieris rapae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diputación de Málaga

Small White / Small Cabbage White. Pieris rapae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan: From 3.5 to 5.5 cm.

Routes where it can be observed

Code

Open wings: It is white with small spots on the forewings. The apex is grey and arched in the case of male butterflies, and bulky in females, but it never goes down the margin up to the anal angle.

Closed wings: The apex at the forewings is the same as on the inner part of the wings, although it is white or pale yellow. Hindwings are also white or light yellow with scattered black scales.

Similar species

Large White: It is bigger. The apex at the forewings is blackish and arched, and stretches down close to the outer margin.

Southern Small White: It has a buckled black apex, which is ached at the end, and goes down to the outer margin.

Green-veined White: Whenever the wings are open or closed, it is rather peculiar due to its veins surrounded by dark-scales. Moreover, when the wings are stretched, the spot on the apex is buckled and the wings spots have scales which outline the veins up to the outer boarder.

Biology and Habitat

There are several generations of the species throughout the year. The later the spring is the more butterflies there are. The number of them decreases in summer, but they come back in big numbers in autumn. It can be found in all kinds of habitats, from high mountains and dense forests to countryside, orchards and gardens, sandy areas and coastal dunes, as well as in small towns and cities. Their caterpillars feed of cruciferous plants, such as Diplotaxis virgata, Cardaria draba, Hoary Mustard (Hirschfeldia incana), and Caper Bush (Capparis spinosa).

Distribution in the Great Path

This is one of the most common butterflies in Málaga, which can be found at every stage of the GMP: The same as the Large White, it is less common on the coastal stages of the path and in the north of the province.