Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Large white butterfly caterpillar

Photo from Cherie Palmer

Photo from Cherie Palmer

Pieris brassicae (Linnaeus)

Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pieridae

Size range

  • Fully grown caterpillars 45mm long


  • First found in New Zealand in 2010.
  • Also known in Europe and India

Life History

  • Will feed on a range of host plants in the plant families :Brassicaceae, Capparaceae and Tropaeolaceae.
  • Including nasturtium, wild radish, wall flowers, and alyssum.
  • Eggs laid in batches 30–100. (Small white butterflies lay eggs singly or in pairs)