Wingspan, 45-55 mm
Males have white upper wings with the forewings having a central dark spot and grey wingtips. Second brood males have grey dustings along the veins of the upper wings. The under-side of the hind wings and the tips of the forewings, which are otherwise white, are pale yellow. All under wing surfaces have dusted grey-green veining which is most pronounced in the second brood.
Females are similar to the males but have two grey spots on the upper fore-wings and a grey smudge along the lower edge. Both first and second brood females have grey dusting along the veins of the upper wings.
Behavior and life history
The Green-veined White is generally not so far ranging as the Large and Small Whites and tends to form loose colonies around suitable breeding sites. It is not a very powerful flier and is less likely to be seen flying across open spaces. This species hibernates as a chrysalis in dense vegetation from which the first brood emerges in late April to early May when the first eggs are laid. The caterpillars are around for most of May and June before they pupate. Within a couple of weeks, the second brood adult generation appears from the beginning of July onwards. Their offspring develop into chrysalises during the second half of September. The caterpillars feed on a number of plants in the cabbage family (Brassicaceae) including Ladys Smock (Cardamine pratensis), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and Water Cress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum).
Where to look for it
The Green-veined White is a butterfly of woodland glades, rides and edges as well as damper, rather neglected meadows, hedgerows and scrubby areas. It is also a common garden visitor.
Distribution and status
Very common and widely distributed throughout the city.
When to look for it
Adults can be seen at any time between early April and late September with numbers peaking in May and early June for the first brood and late July and August for the second brood
The Green-veined White is unmistakeable when it has its wings closed on account of the dark veining on the under-wings.