Small White ‘Pieris rapae’ Butterfly and caterpillar. Vegetable pest identification

August 21, 2008

Small White Pieris rapae are considered a garden pest as they eat cabbage and tomatoes.

Small White butterfly laying egs on a cabbage

Small White butterfly laying eggs on underside of a cabbage leaf

Small White ‘Pieris rapae’ caterpillars young and old

The caterpillars will eat your brassica as well as your tomato plants.

They are very well camourglaged and difficult to see.

They mainly come out under the safely of darkness to feed.

The caterpillars eat the leaves as well as the unripe tomatoes.

Tomatoes eaten by Pieris rapae caterpillars

Tomatoes eaten by caterpillars

Photography Neil Bromhall.

What’s eating Cabbage / Brassica

August 9, 2008

If you’re wondering what’s eating your cabbage or other Brassica then it’s likely to be the caterpillar of the Cabbage white Butterfly / Large White Butterfly Pieris brassicae

Large White caterpillar. Pieris brassicae

Large White caterpillar. Pieris brassicae

 Pieris brassicae Cabbage White Butterfly – Large White Butterfly


The butterfly lays a large number of her eggs on the food plant, namely your Brassica.

The caterpillars are tiny when they first emerge but will grow quickly as to their appetites.

Brassica crops can be totally destroyed by these allotment / vegetable pests

Photography by Neil Bromhall. Complete Garden plant finder, planting advice and pruning guide CD-ROM with 3,500 plants plus 9,000 photographs