Green-veined White_Pieris napi 01
Photographed on the Friday 22 May 2015.
The Green-veined White Butterfly is a member of the Lepidoptera which includes Butterflies and Moths. In the UK there are about 80 butterfly species and 2 500 moth species. The Green-veined White belongs to the Class Insecta, Order Lepidoptera, Family Pieridae and Genus Pieris, is commonly known to belong to the group of butterflies known as the ‘Whites and Yellows’. They are one of the most widespread species found in the British Isles, though colonies become more local further north and are absent from the Shetlands and at higher altitudes in Scotland. They are also prevalent throughout Europe and Asia. It inhabits areas of moist and sheltered places. Often confused with a similar Small White it can be separated by the appearance of green veins on the underside of the wing, this in fact an illusion created by a dusting of black and yellow scales. Spring time emergent tend to have darker veins than those of their summer counterparts. Populations can occur in their thousands in good years and numbers tend to increase significantly after a warm may/June, but can also crash after a hot dry summer, reflecting their need for a humid habitat.
Chrysalises of the larvae also have different forms where the last batch of chrysalises produced in the year have thick waxy skins to protect against the ravages of winter, whilst the first chrysalises formed from the spring emergence develop thin-shelled chrysalises which emerge in July & August.
The males emerge earlier that the females and patrol vegetation borders and rides looking for potential mates that remain perched among leaves and tussocky vegetation and is probably the case for this image where she is lying waiting for a male. Once the male finds a female he showers her with a ‘love dust’ which is so strongly scented even we can smell it. Unfortunately for the male he still has some work to do to convince the female of his vigour and worthiness, upon which she signals accep
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