Wood White (Leptidea sinapis)

Male. Taken at Bucknell Wood, Northants, on May 27th 2018.
(1/1000th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Female . Taken at Wicken Wood, Bucks, on May 25th 2014.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male and female. Taken at Wicken Wood, Bucks, on May 31st 2014.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 3x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 40 - 42 mm

The most delicate of the white butterflies, the Wood White has suffered due to changes in woodland management and, in particular, the reduction in coppicing that allows new woodland clearings to develop that provide suitable conditions.

Most of the populations in Britain are in the Midlands, central southern and south-west England, and south Wales. In Ireland it is only found in The Burren.

Most colonies breed on rides and clearings in woods, although a few large colonies occur on coastal undercliffs.

There are usually two broods per year, with adults being on the wing from mid-May to July, and in late July and August. The pupa is the over-wintering stage.

The primary larval foodplants are Bird's-foot Trefoil, Bitter Vetch, Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil, Meadow Vetchling and Tufted Vetch.

Nectar sources include a variety of flowers, favourites being Bramble, Bugle, Ragged Robin and Birds-foot Trefoil.

Males spend their lives patrolling woodland rides and the edges of scrub in search of mates, flying about three feet off the ground.

This species has Endangered status on the UK list.


16-Jul-2019 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (2)
01-Jun-2019 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (46m)

25-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
22-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
21-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
27-May-2018 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (50m)

11-Aug-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (5m)
11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
06-Jun-2017 : Irinovac, Croatia
05-Jun-2017 : Goranje Taboriste, Croatia
27-May-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (34m,6f)

28-May-2016 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (16+m)
28-May-2016 : Wicken Wood, Bucks (7m)

26-Jul-2015 : Bansko meadows, Bulgaria
24-Jul-2015 : nr Kirilova polyana, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : Papaz Tchair, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : Melnik, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : Kresna Gorge, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : nr Petrovo, Bulgaria
30-May-2015 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (7)