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Species Pieris oleracea - Mustard White - Hodges#4195.1

Mustard White - Pieris oleracea Butterfly on Labrador tundra - Pieris oleracea Mustard White - Pieris oleracea White Butterfly Identification - Pieris oleracea Mustard White - Pieris oleracea White Butterfly in a field - Pieris oleracea Mustard White? - Pieris oleracea Mustard White - Pieris oleracea
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Pieridae (Whites, Sulphurs, Yellows)
Subfamily Pierinae (Whites)
Tribe Pierini (Cabbage Whites, Checkered Whites, Albatrosses)
Genus Pieris
Species oleracea (Mustard White - Hodges#4195.1)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Pontia oleracea T. Harris, 1829. Described from “New Hampshire, and Massachusetts”
Pieris cruciferarum Boisduval, 1836. Described from northern provinces of United States.
Pieris oleracea hyemalis W.H. Edwards, 1881. Described from New York [suggested to be “Hunter, Greene Co., New York” by L. Miller and F. Brown (1981), Mem. Lepid. Soc. (2): 71]
Pontia napi oleracea (Harris) Dyar, 1903
Pieris napi oleracea (Harris) ???
Pieris oleracea (Harris) Opler, 2003

P. angelika, P. marginalis, & P. oleracea are closely related to Eurasian P. napi (Green-veined White), and are often treated as subspecies of it. Just where P. marginalis, oleracea, and angelika displace one another is still unresolved, with different studies giving somewhat contradictory results. Some evidence strongly suggests that P. angelika should perhaps be treated as part of P. oleracea, and that northern populations currently placed by some authors within P. marginalis should really belong under P. angelika or P. oleracea.
Wingspan 23-50 mm (Layberry et al.)
Mostly white, with two forms. The spring form has well-defined lines of dark green-gray scales along the veins on the hindwing underside, and the summer form lacks these scales. It is similar to other Pieris species.
The West Virginia White P. virginiensis has diffuse grey-brown scales along the veins. It has only a spring flight (mostly April-May). It reaches further southward along the Appalachians.
The Margined White P. marginalis is regionally variable, but has a more western distribution.
The Arctic White P. angelika has much stronger dark markings above in the female and below in both sexes. (Layberry et al.)
However, distinction from P. angelica & P. marginalis is based primarily on geography. P. angelica is a more northwestern species and P. marginalis occurs in the West.
From treeline in the Northwest Territories south to Alberta, and east across the rest of Canada. Occurs in the northern tier of US states from North Dakota east to Maine. (Layberry et al., USGS)
Mostly in forests (Layberry et al.)
Has one to four generations a year, with flight times from April to September in the south. (Layberry et al.)
Caterpillars feed on several species in the Brassicaceae. (Layberry et al.)
This species, along with the Margined and Arctic Whites, were formerly considered conspecific with the Palearctic P. napi. They are now treated as distinct, with three or four species occurring in North America. The name P. angelika for the Arctic White may change if another name is found to have priority. (Layberry et al.)
Print References
Brock and Kaufman, p. 46, uses the name P. napi for this complex. (1)
Internet References
Layberry et al. Butterflies of Canada
Works Cited
1.Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)
Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman. 2003. Houghton Mifflin Co.