Whites and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

 

The Pieridae are a large family of butterflies with about 76 genera
containing approximately 1,100 species, mostly from tropical Africa
and Asia. Most pierid butterflies are white, yellow or orange in
coloration, often with black spots. The pigments that give the distinct
colouring to these butterflies are derived from waste products in the
body and are a characteristic of this family. The sexes usually differ,
often in the pattern or number of the black markings. The larvae
(caterpillars) of a few of these species, such as Pieris brassicae and
Pieris rapae, commonly seen in gardens, feed on brassicas, and are
notorious agricultural pests. It is believed that the name "butterfly"
originated from a member of this family — the Brimstone Gonepteryx
rhamni — which was called the "butter-coloured fly" by early British
naturalists.

 

 

Back to Inventory of Butterfly Families and Species

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