Imported Cabbageworm (Pieris rapae) prefers to feed on cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes, kale, lettuce and weeds of the mustard family. In fact, this pest is one of the most damaging and destructive enemies of these plants. It is a widespread insect with populations spread throughout Europe, North Africa, Asia, Great Britain, and yes, North America, too. [It was accidentally introduced to North America around 1860.] The adult butterfly goes by the common name of Cabbage White, Small White or Small Cabbage White and belongs to the family of Lepidoptera called Pieridae (comprised of whites, sulphurs and yellows). The top surface of the adult’s wings are white, but the wing undersides are yellowish, as evident in the photos below.
- Imported Cabbageworm (UMaine Extension Pest Management Fact Sheet #5006)
- Imported Cabbageworm (University of Florida)
- Cabbage White (BugGuide.net)
- Photo example showing the white coloration of the upper wing (dorsal) surface (BugGuide.net)