Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

Scientific name: Pieris rapae

Small White

A small strong-flying butterfly, common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland.


Brilliant white wings with small black tips to forewings and one or two wing spots. Undersides creamy white. Large White is similar but larger and has larger spot in tip of forewing that extends down wing edge.

What does the Small White eat?

The Small White eats cultivated brassicas are used, especially cabbages, and Nasturtium (Tropaeoleum majus) in gardens. Wild crucifers, including Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea), Charlock (Sinapis arvensis). Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba) and Wild Mignonette (Reseda lutea) are used to a lesser extent.

What habitat does the Small White live in?

The Small White is a common butterfly found in a variety of habitats particularly gardens and allotments where cabbages are grown.

What family does the Small White belong to?

The Small White belong to the Pieridae family.

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Scientific Name

Pieris rapae


England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland


Medium sized

Wingspan Range: 48mm


Widespread throughout Britain and Ireland. Distribution trend in Britain since the 1970s = -7%

Other Wildlife