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 is more heavily marked with black on the upperside and
conversely has lighter markings along the veins on the underside.
This species is
found in northern India, Tibet, Siberia, China, Korea and Japan.
breeds in damp open woodland, along riverbanks, and in meadows.