Sunday, 31 July 2011

woad betide the caterpillars

small white (Pieris rapae) caterpillar

small white caterpillar

woad (Isatis tinctoria)

I got to the bottom of what was eating the recently planted woad, when I spotted five caterpillars of the small white butterfly hugging the central ribs of its leaves. The woad needs to grow on before I am happy to sacrifice it for butterfly food, so the caterpillars were removed to a suitable plant nearby.

Note the yellow dorsal stripe, and the two small yellow dots on each segment of the caterpillar, which distinguishes it from the similar green-veined white (Pieris napi) caterpillar.

Caterpillar ID was achieved using Lewington, R., 2003 Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland British Wildlife Publishing, Dorset

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