Small White (Pieris rapae)
Species

Male. Taken at Abingdon, Oxon on April 10th 2011.
(1/640th sec at f13. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male underside. Taken at Abingdon, Oxon on April 8th 2011.
(1/250th sec at f10. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on August 29th 2011.
(1/640th sec at f14. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Larva. Taken at Abingdon, Oxon., on August 17th 2013.
(1/30th sec at f11. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 38 - 57 mm

This species is one of the two known as the "Cabbage White". Its larvae can reach pest proportions, and decimate cabbages (and other brassicas) to the point that the leaves become skeletons, although they are not usually as destructive as those of the Large White.

It breeds throughout the British Isles, except for northern Scotland, Orkney and Shetland.

Small Whites can be seen almost anywhere and can occur in large numbers around fields of brassicas, and also gardens and allotments.

There are generally 2 generations each year, with 3 generations in good years. First-brood adults typically emerge in mid to late April, peaking around the middle of May and gradually tailing off through June. The second brood starts to emerge in early July, although in good years it may emerge in late June and give rise to a third brood. The species overwinters as a pupa. The female is distinguished from the male by the presence of 2 black spots on the forewing upperside; the male only has one. Second brood adults have noticeably darker markings that those of the first brood.

The larval foodplants are cultivated brassicas, Charlock and Garlic Mustard.

Adults feed primarily on Thistles, but a wide range of other flowers maybe used.

A female that has already mated will signal rejection of a male by raising her abdomen to the vertical.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.

Sightings

01-Jun-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
22-May-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
17-May-2018 : Sandford Brake, Oxon (1m)
12-May-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
10-May-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
10-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
09-May-2018 : Rodborough Common, Glos (1)
07-May-2018 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
07-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3+)
06-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon
06-May-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon
01-May-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
22-Apr-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
21-Apr-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
18-Apr-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
18-Apr-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
14-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
13-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (2)
12-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
11-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
09-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (2)

25-Oct-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
14-Oct-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
11-Oct-2017 : Holkham NNR, Norfolk (2)
10-Oct-2017 : Choseley Barns, Norfolk (3)
26-Sep-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
24-Sep-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
20-Sep-2017 : Radipole Lake, Dorset (1)
19-Sep-2017 : Portland Bill, Dorset (2)
15-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
14-Sep-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
14-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
13-Sep-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
12-Sep-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
11-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
06-Sep-2017 : Folly Park, Faringdon, Oxon (3)
04-Sep-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (8+)
04-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
02-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
02-Sep-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
31-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
31-Aug-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
31-Aug-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
29-Aug-2017 : Lollingdon Hill, Oxon (10+)
27-Aug-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
27-Aug-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
26-Aug-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (3+)
26-Aug-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
26-Aug-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
25-Aug-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
25-Aug-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
24-Aug-2017 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (3+)
23-Aug-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6)
20-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6)
17-Aug-2017 : Lardon Chase, Berks (1)
15-Aug-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (4+)
13-Aug-2017 : West Walton, Norfolk (4+)
10-Aug-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon
04-Aug-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
03-Aug-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
23-Jul-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
23-Jul-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (2)
18-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (1)
18-Jul-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
18-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
16-Jul-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
16-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
15-Jul-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
08-Jul-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (3)
08-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
06-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
04-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
01-Jul-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
27-Jun-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
21-Jun-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
28-May-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
30-Apr-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
22-Apr-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
08-Apr-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
01-Apr-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)

15-Oct-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
09-Oct-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
02-Oct-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
24-Sep-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
18-Sep-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
18-Sep-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
18-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
11-Sep-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
11-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
04-Sep-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
04-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
01-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
29-Aug-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
29-Aug-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (7)
28-Aug-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
21-Aug-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
13-Aug-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
13-Aug-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
12-Aug-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
08-Aug-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
07-Aug-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
06-Aug-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
03-Aug-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (4+)
30-Jul-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
26-Jul-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
24-Jul-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
23-Jul-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
22-Jul-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
19-Jul-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
17-Jul-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1+)
14-Jul-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2m)
13-Jul-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Jul-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1f)
28-May-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
28-May-2016 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (2)
22-May-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
22-May-2016 : Goring Railway Bridge, Oxon (1m)
15-May-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
14-May-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
14-May-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
07-May-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
06-May-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
05-May-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
30-Apr-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
17-Apr-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
09-Apr-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Apr-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)

05-Oct-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
27-Sep-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6)
27-Sep-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
19-Sep-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
19-Sep-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
12-Sep-2015 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (2)
07-Sep-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
06-Sep-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (5+)
06-Sep-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
06-Sep-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (10+)
01-Sep-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1+)
29-Aug-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
29-Aug-2015 : Lardon Chase, Berks (2)
16-Aug-2015 : Hackpen Hill, Oxon (10+)
16-Aug-2015 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1)
15-Aug-2015 : Rushy Common, Oxon (1+)
12-Aug-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)
09-Aug-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (10+)
08-Aug-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
08-Aug-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
08-Aug-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
06-Aug-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
02-Aug-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
02-Aug-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (5)
31-Jul-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
30-Jul-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (4)
29-Jul-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
28-Jul-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
28-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
25-Jul-2015 : Bezbog, Bulgaria
24-Jul-2015 : nr Kirilova polyana, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : nr Lilyanovo, Bulgaria
18-Jul-2015 : Silchester Common, Hants (1)
18-Jul-2015 : Crookham Common, Berks (4)
18-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (5+)
14-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
12-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
11-Jul-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (3)
03-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
23-Jun-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
07-Jun-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
07-Jun-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
25-May-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
23-Apr-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Apr-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
06-Apr-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)

05-Oct-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
28-Sep-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon
27-Sep-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
27-Sep-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon
21-Sep-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon
14-Sep-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon
13-Sep-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon
07-Sep-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
04-Sep-2014 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
03-Sep-2014 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
01-Sep-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon
31-Aug-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
29-Aug-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
28-Aug-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
28-Aug-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
24-Aug-2014 : Cothill Fen, Oxon (1)
23-Aug-2014 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1m)
17-Aug-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
16-Aug-2014 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
09-Aug-2014 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1)
03-Aug-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
02-Aug-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
30-Jul-2014 : Arnside Knott, Cumbria (2)
29-Jul-2014 : Smardale Gill NNR, Cumbria (1)
29-Jul-2014 : Challan Hall, Lancashire (1)
26-Jul-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
22-Jul-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
17-Jul-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
15-Jul-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
13-Jul-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
12-Jul-2014 : Watlington Hill, Oxon (1)
24-Jun-2014 : Papaz Tchair, Bulgaria
22-Jun-2014 : Roadside, Bulgaria
20-Jun-2014 : nr Dolna Kula, Bulgaria
20-Jun-2014 : Valchi Dol, Bulgaria
19-Jun-2014 : nr Mirovo, Bulgaria
10-Jun-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
31-May-2014 : Salden railway cutting (3)
25-May-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1m)
18-May-2014 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
17-May-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (6+)
19-Apr-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4+)
18-Apr-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
13-Apr-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2m)
10-Apr-2014 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1m)
30-Mar-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)