White butterfly

Large white butterfly (Pieris brassicae)

Small White (Pieris rapae)

Large white butterfly (Pieris brassicae)

Small White (Pieris rapae)

The big and the small cabbage white butterfly belong to butterflies, specifically family white moths. Butterflies are such characterized in that the rest with their wings folded, so that the underside is visible. However, it is not always the larvae of these 2 white butterflies, with less flat backhoe name caterpillars.


The two species look as adult butterflies very similar, with their white wings and small dark markings.

The larvae of the 2 are very different.

The larvae are spread hairy. The larvae of the small cabbage white butterfly is green with an orange stripe down the back and a punctured the side.

The green caterpillar is densely covered with soft hair.

The large white butterfly puts its yellow cone-shaped eggs in dense clusters on the underside of cabbage leaves while the small lays its eggs singly scattered around the blade, which also causes the larvae taken more spread in the plant.


For both species is wintering in pupae. The adult butterflies that hatch from pupae in May, called first generation. The eggs of this generation be often in wild cruciferous plants where the larvae eat and pupate and provides the basis for the second generation.

It is usually the second generation that is tampering with our plants.

The adult butterflies appear in large numbers in July / August and has an almost magical ability to find cabbage of all shades or just members of the cruciferous family.


Larvae are very fierce as adults and can win time do cabbages unaesthetic and by their very presence, but also because of their excrements.

The larvae of the large white butterfly often made on the outside of the leaves, while the caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly small often found deep inside a cabbage.

Natural Enemies

Fortunately, there are natural predators which to some extent can help to regulate the population.

Parasitic (Apanteles glomeratus) is common in places where there are large colonies of larvae.

This wasp lays its eggs in living caterpillars.

The larvae of parasitic (Apanteles glomeratus) eat white butterfly caterpillars. There may be more than 300 parasitoids larvae in a single caterpillar.

Finally seen the typical must yellow cocoons without the dead caterpillar.

Common occurring is also insect pathogenic fungi of the genus Entomophtora can do it with a large number of larvae.


Active substance Trade name More info

1) Bacillus thurigiensis

Cypermethrin More (Dipel, Biobit)


1) Biobit is a biological product based on Bacillus thurigiensis.

Bacterial Products containing so-called endospores and crystals forming a toxin that breaks down larval gut function.

For the control of the caterpillars in greenhouses used several kinds of predators.

Early harvest: you have the opportunity to sow and plant early; the harvest may be completed before the larvae to seriously address.If you have time, it is possible to remove leaves with larvae. Is for example the case of kale may well use to remove the outer old leaves.