Green-veined White - Pieris napi

Alternative names
Green Veined White

It is often mistaken for its cousin, the Small White. The so-called green veins on the underside of the adults are, in fact, an illusion created by a subtle combination of yellow and black scales.

Similar Species

The Green-veined White is a similar size to the Small White and whilst the green-yellow veining of the underwing is a clear diagnostic feature, the upper wings are very similar. However the black tip in the Green-veined White is usually less 'solid' and extends in blotches along the wing edge.

Identification difficulty

This is a common butterfly of damp grassland and woodland rides but it also turns up in gardens.

When to see it

April to August

Life History

First-brood adults typically emerge in late April, peaking around the middle of May and gradually tailing off through June. The second brood, which is always stronger than the first brood, starts to emerge in early July. However, in good years, the second brood may emerge in late June and give rise to a third brood. The main larval foodplants are Charlock (Sinapis arvensis), Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), Large Bitter-cress (Cardamine amara), Water-cress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum) and other cruciferous plants.

UK Status

This is one of the most widespread species found in the British Isles and can be found almost everywhere.

VC55 Status

Common throughout Leicestershire & Rutland.

58.008 BF1551

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map