Every Summer I plant 3 cabbages for the white butterflies.
White butterflies are much maligned in New Zealand, as perhaps they are in the other countries they frequent.
Pieris rapae is our only species of white butterfly in New Zealand - a white or creamy white butterfly with greyish/black wing tips. The difference between males and females can be seen on their forewings. Males have a single black spot - females have two black spots.
In the main they are disliked because of the damage they do to broccoli, cabbage and other brassica vegetable plants. I, in particular, love white butterflies and absolutely look beyond this aspect of them. Their caterpillars have to eat, after-all.
If you're not a fan of white butterflies I urge you to look past their destructive tendencies in vegetable gardens by finding other ways to cover your vegetables. Then you will be able to enjoy this hardy and fascinating butterfly that is different to any other that we have in New Zealand.
Opua, New Zealand.
Keen butterfly photographer and raises Monarch Butterflies for release.
" I'm crazy about butterflies and enjoy sharing the beauty and wonder of their transformations."
REPORT YOUR SIGHTINGS