As I've done in previous years, I've planted a few cabbages for them to lay their eggs and provide food for their young.
Cabbage Whites are not popular because of their food requirements and therefore eating people's precious cabbages, it's true, but have you really taken a good look at how beautiful these butterflies are?
First of all look at the facts about them.
Species: P. rapae
Binomial name: Pieris rapae
Common name: Cabbage butterfly, white butterfly, Cabbage white. Small white. Pepe Ma
From Europe and North America, they have been in New Zealand since about 1930 and now found throughout the country. It is suspected that it first arrived in New Zealand in the summer of 1929-30, it was first recorded in Napier in March 1930. It quickly spread all over New Zealand by the autumn or 1936, however there seem to be 'jumps' in its dispersal over those few years. For example, the first specimen in the South Island was in the port town of Timaru, not in the Marlborough region as one would expect by natural dispersion. So the logical conclusion is that some specimens where transported around the country along with our shared food of the cabbage family.
The butterfly has a wingspan of 45–50 mm.
Caterpillars are pests of cabbage and other plants of the Brassicaceae family.
Several parasites keep numbers in control.
For more information on this butterfly visit http://nzbutterfly.info/resident/white-butterfly/