Cabbage whites are common butterflies of gardens and other flowery places, where they cause no harm at all. Their dirty-green-coloured caterpillars, on the other hand, can wreak havoc in vegetable gardens and on farms, where they quickly reduce cabbages and other brassica plants to mere stalks. The caterpillars are full of distasteful chemicals, so are not eaten by birds, however, one parasitic wasp species loves them: the wasp lays its eggs inside the caterpillar where they are eaten by the grubs. British populations are bolstered by migrants from the continent.
How to identify common garden butterflies.
Scientific name: Pieris brassicae
Timelapse details the emergence of a butterfly from its chrysalis.
Filmed in timelapse, a cabbage white butterfly emerges from its chrysalis and inflates its wings.
The following habitats are found across the Cabbage white distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
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From badgers to butterflies and frogs to foxes, garden wildlife is both varied and surprising.