Small White Pieris rapae


The Small White is found commonly in most habitats, but particularly in gardens and allotments where cabbages and other brassica plants grow, and farmland where oil-seed rape is grown.


It is similar to the Large White, although usually smaller, and lacks the striking black wing-tips. Females are more heavily marked and have two distinct spots on the upperside of the forewings. Males only have one spot in the centre of each forewing, a feature lacking in the male Large White.

Flight times

Adults can be seen on the wing from as early as February, although April is more common, until November. There are usually two generations a year, peaking in mid-May and July. Occasionally a third emergence occurs during August and September.

Food plants

It has a distinct preference for cultivated brassicas, including cabbages, oil-seed rape and brussels sprouts, as well as ornamental Nasturtium.

Small White
Small White - © Simon Jenkins.

Distribution Maps

Small White distribution map 2005-09
Small White distribution map 2010-14
Small White distribution map 2015-19
Small White distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 912
First sighting 22/03/2015
Last sighting 31/10/2015
Small White distribution map 2016
2016 Summary
No of tetrads 822
First sighting 25/03/2016
Last sighting 03/11/2016
Small White distribution map 2017
2017 Summary
No of tetrads 802
First sighting 07/04/2017
Last sighting 27/10/2017
Small White distribution map 2018
2018 Summary
No of tetrads 1084
First sighting 25/03/2018
Last sighting 25/10/2018
Small White distribution map 2019
2019 Summary
No of tetrads 1113
First sighting 22/02/2019
Last sighting 22/10/2019
Small White distribution map 2020
2020 Summary
No of tetrads 1186
First sighting 14/03/2020
Last sighting 29/11/2020
Small White distribution map 2021
2021 Summary
No of tetrads 1043
First sighting 17/03/2021
Last sighting 09/11/2021
Small White distribution map 2022
2022 Summary
No of tetrads 738
First sighting 15/03/2022
Last sighting 28/10/2022

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