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Butterflies of temperate Asia
Hübner's Green-veined White
Pieris bryoniae  HUBNER, 1790
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe -
Pieris bryoniae Sichuan, China © Andrew Neild
Introduction
There may be as many as 34 species of Pieris worldwide, although the status of some is uncertain. The commonest and most widespread species is rapae, which was originally restricted to Europe and temperate Asia but has been introduced by man to North America, Africa, s.e. Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The genus can be divided into 2 groups - the 'Large' Whites brassicae, cheiranthi, deota & tadjika; and the smaller species including rapae, mannii, napi and melete which have more rounded fore-wings. Some taxonomists place the latter group into a distinct genus Artogeia, citing characteristics including chromosome number, ovipositing behaviour and larval morphology.
Pieris bryoniae is very similar to certain races of napi, but the underside ground colour is yellow rather than cream or white, and the venation is mapped more heavily.
The exact distribution of this species is uncertain. It is often confused with napi and probably has a very similar distribution. Pieris bryoniae is confirmed from central Europe, the Tien Shan, Armenia, Kamchatka and China.
Habitats
Pieris bryoniae breeds in damp open habitats.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Brassica, Thlaspi and Arabis ( Brassicaceae ).
Adult behaviour

In sunny weather the butterflies make short but regular flights, pausing here and there to nectar at low growing flowers. Males also commonly imbibe mineralised moisture from the edges of puddles.

Freshly emerged females sit among grasses or low herbage to await discovery by patrolling males. Mating takes place after a short chase, and immediately after copulating the pair fly to settle on a bush or on higher ground, with the male carrying the female in flight. If disturbed the copulated pair take readily to the wing and often make several short flights until they find a spot where they are out of reach of predators. They remain paired for about an hour.

 

 

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