25th July 2014

These two Butterflies make up the notorious “Cabbage Whites”, whose caterpillars can ravage brassica plots in summer. The Large White is especially beautiful- its wing-span is 65-70mm, so it stands out from all other white butterflies. Male and female have grey-black tips to their forewing and anything from white to yellow underwings. The female has two black dots and a dash on its forewing. They lay anything from 40 to 100 yellow eggs in clusters on the underside of the cabbages and related plants that the caterpillars then eat to ribbons once hatched. The adults feed on nectar from flowers like this one on a Buddleia. The Small White can be confused with the innocent Green Veined White (see 7th June blog). The Small White can travel great distances. This was discovered when it was introduced to Melbourne, Australia in 1939. Three years later, within 25 generations, it had spread 1,850 miles to the West coast, where it continues to be a very successful pest! Conditions: Continuing the very hot, dry spell of weather. Temperature: Max 25- Min 16 C.

Small White butterfly

Small White butterfly

Small White butterfly

Small White butterfly

 

Large White Butterfly

Large White Butterfly with its lovely pale yellow hindwing.

 

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