Pieris napi | Green-veined White | Bánóg uaine

Pre 2017

2017 - 2021


Conservation status

Ireland: Least Concern (Regan et al., 2010)
Europe: Least Concern (van Swaay et al., 2010)
Climate risk category: Potential Climate Change Risk; present distribution in Europe can be explained by climate to only a limited extent (Settele et al., 2008)

Legal status

The Green-veined white is not afforded legal protection in Ireland. 

Native status


Species Biology


Key identification features include:

  • Medium size, wingspan: 40 - 52 mm

  • Distinct green venation on underside of hindwing


Wide variety of habitats, including grasslands, field margins, cutover bogs.  Adults fly in sunshine, less actively than Small Whites (P. rapae), with which they may easily be confused when in flight. They land intermittently on flowerheads of low herbs including the foodplants in spring; in the summer generation flowers such as those of knapweed and bramble are used. In dull weather and at night, adults may be found resting on flowerheads (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Flight period

Bivoltine: typically, the 1st generation flies from March to June and the 2nd generation flies from July to October.

Life stages

Life cycle

Eggs are laid upright, singly, on the underside of a lower leaf of low-growing herbs; often on smaller plants and very close to the
ground.  After hatching, the larva feeds on a range of Brassicaceae, but it not considered a commercial pest on cultivated Brassicas. This species overwinters as a pupa, attached by a silken thread and concealed beneath dense vegetation, usually away from the foodplant (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Food plants

The larva feeds on a range of Brassicaceae, but especially on Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis).  It also feeds on Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Bitter-cress (Cardamine hirsuta), Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum), Wild Mustard (Sinapis arvensis), Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) and a variety of cultivated Brassica spp. (Bond & Gittings, 2008).

Flowers visited

Generalist, the adult’s nectar sources include:  Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scriptus), Bugle (Ajuga reptans), Buttercups (Ranunculus spp.), Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis), Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica), Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea), Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), Red Campion (Silene dioica), Thistles (Cirsium spp. and Carduus spp.) and Vetches (Vicia spp.).


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Found throughout the country.

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.



Bond, K.G.M. and Gittings, T. 2008. Database of Irish Lepidoptera. 1 - Macrohabitats, microsites and traits of Noctuidae and butterflies. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 35. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland.

Regan, E.C., Nelson, B., Aldwell, B., Bertrand, C., Bond, K., Harding, J., Nash, D., Nixon, D. and Wilson, C.J. 2010. Ireland Red List No. 4 – Butterflies. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland.

Settele, J., Kudrna, O., Harpke, A., Kühn, I., Van Swaay, C., Verovnik, R., Warren, M.S., Wiemers, M., Hanspach, J., Hickler, T. and Kühn, E. 2008. Climatic risk atlas of European butterflies. Sofia-Moscow: Pensoft.

Van Swaay, C., Cuttelod, A., Collins, S., Maes, D., López Munguira, M., Šašic, M., Settele, J., Verovnik, R., Verstrael, T., Warren, M., Wiemers, M. and Wynhof, I. 2010. European Red List of Butterflies. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.