Mustard White (Pieris oleracea Harris)
Wing span: 1 1/2 - 2 1/4 inches (3.8 - 5.7 cm).
Identification: Summer form is pure white above and below; spring form has black-tipped upper forewing. Underside of hindwing and apex of forewing have veins edged with yellow-green or gray-green.
Life history: Males patrol during the day for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on underside of host plant leaves. Caterpillars feed on leaves. Chrysalis hibernates.
Flight: Two flights from April-September in mid-continent; one flight from June-July in the north.
Caterpillar hosts: Various plants in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family.
Adult food: Flower nectar from mustard family and other plants.
Habitat: Open forests and fields, deciduous woods, bogs, streamsides.
Range: East from the Dakotas and Canadian prairie provinces across the Great Lakes area to New England and Nova Scotia.
Conservation: Not usually required.
Management needs: None noted.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Nielsen, Mogens C., 1999. Michigan Butterflies and Skippers: A Field Guide and Reference. Michigan State University Extension, East Lansing, MI. 248 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.