Green-veined White- I thought it was worth revisiting this beautiful butterfly, especially as it is often mistaken for the similarly-sized Small White. It needs a closer look, partly because the Small White caterpillars are more of a threat to Brassicas than this common Butterfly of damp hedgerows, woodland glades and gardens. The thing to look out for, as the name suggests, is the amazing pattern of ‘green’ veining on the undersides of the wings, most noticeable at rest, obviously, but also when the light shines through the wings. In fact, the ‘green’ veins are an optical illusion, being made of of tiny black and yellow scales. This becomes more apparent as the colours fade. If you see a female with its abdomen bending towards, as in the photo, it is signalling to the male that it has already been successfully fertilised. This butterfly is on the wing now, with the first generation emerged. A second generation will emerge in a few weeks so it should be around most of the summer. Conditions: Breezy with some sun and yet gain, no rain. Temperature: Max 13 Min 2C.
Green-veined White Butterfly: here is the other white butterfly, out and about right now, that is not harmful to your brassicas and, on the contrary, is a helpful pollinator. Try to see this butterfly at rest, or feeding, which is when the ‘green’ veins, actually made up of black and yellow, show most beautifully. They are most marked early in the year, as they tend to fade when the butterfly is older, (much like me really).
As you can see, it loves feeding on wallflowers, Ladies Smock and other open- headed, spring flowers. Conditions: Cloud with sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 16 Min 9C
Green-veined White- a favourite and very wide-spread butterfly, flying in our garden, grasslands, woodland rides (this morning this one in the wonderful bluebell Woolley Woods,) and parks. May is the peak time to see this butterfly– the veins are really a combination of black and yellow scales. The female, here, has wing-spots and this one has probably mated, as its abdomen is pointed up, showing males it is not receptive. Conditions : sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 17- Min 10c.
Green-Veined White Butterflies are one of the most common and widespread of our butterflies, but, indicative of the poor year this has been for so many butterfly species, this one, (yesterday in the garden), is the first I have seen anywhere all year. Beautiful, and often mistaken for a Small (‘Cabbage’) White, these do not damage brassicas and they are beautiful, at rest. The veins are not actually green but an optical illusion caused by yellow scales overlaying black. Conditions: Very hot again after a storm last night! Temperature: Max 25- Min 16c.