Hübner's Green-veined White
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
© Andrew Neild
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
The genus can be divided into 2
groups - the 'Large' Whites brassicae,
& tadjika; and the smaller species
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
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.
distribution of this species is uncertain. It is often confused with
napi and probably has a very similar
is confirmed from
central Europe, the Tien Shan, Armenia, Kamchatka and China.
breeds in damp open habitats.
foodplants include Brassica,
Arabis ( Brassicaceae ).
In sunny weather the
butterflies make short but regular flights, pausing here and there to
nectar at low growing flowers.
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.