Home / Whites and Sulphurs (Pieridae) / Green-veined White (Pieris napi)

Green-veined White (Pieris napi)

Green-veined White source: warehouse1.indicia.org.uk

As the name suggests, the green-veined whites are known for their unique yet simple combination of green and white. They are found in parts of Europe and Asia.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Pieridae
  • Genus: Pieris
  • Scientific Name: Pieris napi

Description and Identification


Green-veined White Caterpillar source: butterfly-conservation.org

The mature larva is dark green in color with a faint line running down to the end of its body on each side.


Green-veined White Pupa source: wildlifeinsight.com

The chrysalis is also green in color, while the raised parts are bright yellowish and brown. Quite much like the other Pieris species, they overwinter as a pupa.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Faintly present

Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, they show a pure white base with dark green venation throughout the wings. In the male, the dorsal wings show a single gray spot at the center, while the female shows two small gray blotches in the same area. The corners of the wings in both the sexes are gray. When the wings are closed, the tip of the dorsal wing and the entire ventral wing shows a light yellowish green hue.

Green Veined White Female source: c1.staticflickr.com

Green Veined White Male source: birdimages.net

Average wingspan: Up to 50 mm

Flight pattern: Medium to fast


Green-veined White Eggs source: butterfly-conservation.org

Pale yellow eggs laid singly on the upper side of host plants

Quick Facts

Distribution Spread across Europe and Asia, including the Indian subcontinent, Japan, the Maghreb, as well as in North America
Habitat Shady, forest edges, meadows, hedgerows and wooded river valleys
Host plants The most common and preferable is water-cress
Adult diet Flower nectar

Did You Know?

  • Butterfly enthusiasts often confuse the Green-veined White for its close cousin, the Small White.

Pieris napi source: wikimedia.org

Green-veined White Images source: warehouse1.indicia.org.uk

Green-veined White Butterfly source: scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

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Scientific Classification

  • Family: Pieridae
  • Genus: Pieris
  • Scientific Name: Pieris napi
Published by Poppy Glendening on November 16, 2018.
Last Updated: October 15, 2023. ✅ Verified by: Butterfly Team