Cabbage White   Pieris rapae

Status:  common resident

Flights:  many, Jan-Dec

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  widespread; Soberanes Creek, Carmel Valley Rd., Old Stage Rd., China camp, Bradley

Habitats:  open, disturbed, weedy

Host plants:  mustard family, wild and cultivated; nasturtium

Adult food:  flower nectar from mustards, dandelion, red clover, asters, etc.

Conservation:  none required


  1.   introduced 1860s from Europe, reached CA by 1883

  2.   causes larval crop damage

  3.   favors pioneer habitats lacking predators

  4.   larvae secrete mayolenes, noxious fluids that deter ants, other invert predators

  5.   Male has one FW spot, female two forewing spots; spring forms weakly marked

Life history facts

egg: laid singly on underside of host plant leaves

larva: feed on leaves?

pupa: hibernates

adult:  males patrol mostly during morning for receptive females; flight floating and fluttery, high or low, side to side, up and down

Soberanes creek 9-21-05