Cabbage White – Pieris rapae

These are cute, however I don’t appreciate biting into a larvae that has hidden in my cabbage! Eeeeaw!
Girls have two spots, boys have one. So, this little boy was enjoying sipping nectar from my knautia.
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Larvae feed widely on plants in the family Cruciferae, however occasionally on a few other plant families that contain mustard oils.
Commonly attacked vegetable crops:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Nasturtium
  • Sweet alyssum

Adults sip nectar from flowers, and are commonly seen feeding at a number of plants.

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Sadly, within a quarter century of its appearance in this country, rapid and widespread colonization of P. rapae had resulted in massive crop losses, mainly to cabbage. Attempts to control or eradicate the Cabbage White have led to a series of biological debacles. The disastrous consequences are well documented of the widespread use of chlorinated hydrocarbons including D.D.T., during the period following World War II. Of late, a more “progressive” approach has employed the use of biological controls using other organisms, often exotic, introduced species, to parasitize or otherwise prey on the pest organism.
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This is how you do it to it!

Β© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

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