Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cabbage White Butterflies

Probably the most visible butterfly in the Fox Island Butterfly Garden right now is  the Cabbage White (Pieris rapae rapae).  Familiar as a "Cabbage Butterfly" to anyone who has ever worked a garden in Indiana the host plants of the Cabbage White are the cabbage plant and members of the mustard family including Garlic Mustard.
The Cabbage White is native to the Old World first introduced to North America via Canada in 1860 and moving to the East Coast of the United States by the 1870's.  By 1892 it was common throughout Indiana.
Mating pair of Cabbage Whites
Male Cabbage Whites can be distinguished by a single black spot on their fore-wing, females by two black spots on their forewings.  Both have a pale yellow hind-wing and black tips on the fore-wing.
Photos by J. Ormiston 8-22-14.