Seq # 450060040

Pieris napi (Linnaeus, 1758) Species

Last modified: March 4, 2022, 10:08 a.m.

A common species throughout Belgium.


Family: Pieridae > Subfamily: Pierinae > Tribus: Pierini > Genus: Pieris > Species: Pieris napi
Vernacular names
Klein geaderd witje (NL), Green-veined White (EN), Piéride du navet (FR), Rapsweißling (DE)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1837. Catalogue des Lépidoptères ou Papillons de la Belgique, précédé du tableau des Libellulines de ce pays. — — : 1–29. On page 15 (as Pieris napi). view page




Adults are often easily recognised by the dark dusting on the underside hindwing, concentrated along the veins. This is especially so in the first generation but can be less conspicuous in the summer generations.

Museum specimens

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Specimens in nature


Eggs are pale yellowish when freshly laid, turning pale greenish later. The eggs are laid singly on the underside of the leaves of the larval foodplant.

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The larva resembles the one of Pieris rapae but lacks the yellow dorsal line. The lateral stigmata have yellow spots like in Pieris rapae but these lack in the second and third thoracal segment.

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An overview of the bionomics of this species can be found on the Butterflies in the Benelux website.

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Flight periods

The adults fly in at least three generations per year, almost continuously from mid April till September.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Cardamine pratensis, Alliaria petiolata, Sisymbrium officinale and Nasturtium officinale

The larva lives on Cardamine, Nasturtium, Lepidium, Lunaria, Hesperia, Arabis etc.
There is overlap in use of foodplants with Anthocharis cardamines but larvae of that species are specialised in eating the seedbuts of the plants and this species eats the leaves so there is no niche overlap.

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Widespread and common throughout, often in more natural and more damp habitats than Pieris rapae.

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