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Black-veined White Butterfly - Aporia crataegi

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Pieridae

Black-veined White Butterfly - female

This attractive large butterfly feeds on Prunus species and used to be a pest in the orchards of southern England.

The female (pictured above) is distinguished by a brownish colouring on the leading edge of the forewing. The male, shown below, is almost entirely black and white (albeit a rather creamy white).

Male Black-veined White butterfly

The specimens pictured here were seen in the Lot Valley, southern France.

Black-veined White Butterflies

Distribution

Extinct in Britain since 1925, this lovely butterfly is still common on the mainland of Europe. The specimens shown on this page were photographed in southern France and in Bulgaria.

Black-veined White butterfly on Pinks

Lifecycle

This large butterfly is seen on the wing from early May until the end of July.

Black-veined White butterfly, Pays Basque

The Black-veined White butterfly's main larval foodplants are Blackthorn Prunus spinosa and Hawthorn Crataegus monygna (as well as other Crataegus species), and the longitudinally-ribbed primrose-yellow eggs are laid in patches of up to 200 on the undersides of the leaves.

Eggs of the Black-veined White butterfly, Pays Basque

While they are immature, the caterpillars live in communal webs. When fully grown they are covered in sparse soft hairs; their bodies are black above with orange-brown subdorsal stripes, while the underside is a very pale grey.

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Steve Jelf.

Studying butterflies and moths...

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