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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Pieris rapae
     Cabbage white


Size: wingspread 1.5-2 in.
Recognition: Medium-sized; white with black FW tip; female has two black spots down mid-wing, while male only has one.
Flight period: Adults are active all year in southern California, and from March to November (spring to fall) farther north.
Hostplants: Larvae feed on many plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) such as cabbage, broccoli, mustards, winter cress, watercress, and peppergrass (it is considered a serious pest of some of these).
Habitat: Found in various natural and suburban areas including fields, gardens, mountain edges, roadsides, and hills; not found in deserts.
Distribution: Very common throughout the U.S. and Canada, this is probabaly the most widespread and visible butterfly in southern California. Just look around, they are everywhere!

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