The Cabbage White is a fairly common butterfly in North America. Adults are white above with black wing tips and a few black spots on the tops of the wings. The underside of the cabbage white butterfly is yellow with gray spots. This butterfly grows to be between 1 to 2 inches in length. Like other insects, it has antennae, 6 legs, 4 wings, and 3 parts to its body.
Cabbage whites can live in almost any mild climate. They are found throughout North America and parts of Europe, especially in gardens, fields, hills, and even in cities! Cabbage whites are incredible survivers, seeming to survive and multiply wherever they are seen. Their name comes from their love of eating cabbages and raddish plants in the caterpillar stage, causing humans to think of them as garden pests. Adults feed off the nectar from flowers.
This butterfly is one of the first to emerge in the spring and one of the last to die in the late fall. After mating, female cabbage whites lay single eggs on the undersides of the plants that the young caterpillars will need to eat when they hatch. The eggs will hatch in the spring and the new caterpillars eat right away! They are green with a light yellow stripe and can grow to be up to 3/4 of an inch. Soon the caterpillars will grow a chrysalis--a kind of shell where they grow into adults by the next spring.