Great white will take a bite of your garden veg
CABBAGES beware! After ravaging the nasturtiums in our garden the cabbage white caterpillars are heading off to pupate over winter.
Yes they will be hanging around in quiet places ready to appear next year to munch your veggies.
Our nasturtiums normally thrive in the late summer sunlight but this year they were a sorry sight.
Remembering that the chompers would turn into beautiful large white butterflies made things a little easier.
The large white is a common butterfly which flies between April and October so they will still be around now. I think they are more noticeable later in summer but that is just my opinion as that’s when they appear on my plants.
They will feed on all ‘brassicas’ which are members of the cabbage family and that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and turnip.
The large white is a white butterfly, with black tips to the forewings. The underside of the wings is cream. The female has two black spots and a dash on each forewing.
The big thing is that it is larger than the other white butterflies and that includes the small white, which also eats your cabbages.
It is widespread, not only appearing in my garden but across Europe, North Africa and Asia, including agricultural areas of the Himalayas.
I have mentioned this before with other insects but many large whites travel over here from Europe.
Travelling a bit further, they were found in New Zealand in the early part of this decade but capture and the introduction of a killer wasp got rid of them as they were seen as a pest by farmers. Our grumpy gardeners tend to just put up with them.
I am fascinated and will take pictures rather than killing these amazingly beautiful creatures. I have enjoyed filming the caterpillars as they made lunch of my flowers. It’s great when you can get really good close-ups.
More good news on the butterfly front is that red admirals have apparently increased by 75 per cent from last year according to the Big Butterfly Count. This is a result of the mild winter and warm spring and should carry on next year too.
There have certainly been more red admirals around this year on our reserves, so we must be doing something right.
Make the most of the late summer butterflies because when they are gone it means winter is here.
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The large white butterfly