Green-veined white: It looks like a cabbage white but isn’t. They over winter as pupae which emerge in April and lay their eggs on wild relatives of cabbages – garlic mustard, charlock, lady’s smock and other wild brassicas. In gardens they may use nasturtiums and Alyssums. The offspring of the butterflies flying now emerge in July or August and their offspring, in turn, will become the overwintering pupae. The butterfly is the size of a small white but on the upper side of the forewings the black on the wing tip goes round the point of the wing. In the small white it is only on the front edge. The underside of the hind wing has veins heavily dusted with black and yellow scales giving the ‘green veins’ in its name. Compared to the ‘cabbage whites’ both large and small, they are much more commonly seen out in the wider countryside though they do pass through gardens on their wanderings. The whites seen on the top of Mendip are more LIKELY to be green-veined whites whereas in your garden cabbage patch, it is the other way round. See Butterflies of the Week for 6th May.
Photos John Ball Peter Bright