Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Pieris napi
(green-veined white butterfly)



Pieris napi (green-veined white butterfly)


  • Last modified
  • 24 October 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Pieris napi
  • Preferred Common Name
  • green-veined white butterfly
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • P. napi is considered invasive in Hungary where hybridization with Pieris bryoniae marani has led to the presumed extinction of P. napi bryoniae from the Hungarian fauna (Balint and Ilonc...

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Pieris napi (Linnaeus)

Preferred Common Name

  • green-veined white butterfly

Other Scientific Names

  • Artogeia napi Linnaeus
  • Papilio napi Linnaeus
  • Pieris balcana Lorkovic
  • Pieris napaeae Esper
  • Pontia napi

International Common Names

  • English: green-veined white; mustard white; white butterfly, green-veined
  • Spanish: gusanos de las cruciferas; mariposa blanca con venas verdes; oruga de la colza
  • French: papillon blanc veine de vert; piéride des crucifères; pieride du navet

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: kalsommerfugl, gronaret; raps-hvidsvaermer
  • Finland: lanttuperhonen
  • Germany: gruenader; gruenader-weissling; heckenweissling; rapsweissling; ruebensaatweissling; weissling, raps-; weissling, ruebensaat-
  • Italy: navoncella; navonella
  • Netherlands: koolwitje, klein geaderd; witje, klein geaderde
  • Norway: rapssommerfugl
  • Poland: bielinek bytomkowiec
  • Spain: blanca verdinervada
  • Sweden: rapsfjaril

EPPO code

  • PIERNA (Pieris napi)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page P. napi is considered invasive in Hungary where hybridization with Pieris bryoniae marani has led to the presumed extinction of P. napi bryoniae from the Hungarian fauna (Balint and Ilonczai, 2001).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Pieridae
  •                             Genus: Pieris
  •                                 Species: Pieris napi

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


ChinaPresentNativeEitschberger and Hou, 1993
IndiaPresentRai and Tripathi, 1985
-MeghalayaWidespreadRai and Tripathi, 1985
IranPresentNativeFarahbakhsh, 1961
KazakhstanPresentNativeZhdanko, 1980
MongoliaPresentNativeEitschberger and Hou, 1993
TurkeyPresentZobar and Genç, 2008


AlgeriaPresentNativeBranger, 1983; Tennent, 1993
MoroccoPresentNativeBranger, 1983
-Canary IslandsWidespreadNativeHowarth, 1973
TunisiaPresentNativeTennent, 1993

North America

USAPresentDriesche et al., 2004
-MassachusettsPresentDriesche et al., 2004
-VermontPresentDriesche et al., 2004


AlbaniaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996; Verovnik and Popovic, 2013
AustriaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
BelgiumWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
BulgariaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
Czech RepublicWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
Czechoslovakia (former)WidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
DenmarkWidespreadNativeDal, 1982; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; Clausen et al., 2001
EstoniaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
FinlandWidespreadNativeDal, 1982; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996; Saarinen, 2002
FranceWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
-CorsicaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
GermanyWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
GreeceWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
HungaryWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
IcelandWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
IrelandWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
ItalyWidespreadNativeKudrna and Leigheb, 1988; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
LatviaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
LithuaniaWidespreadNativeSvitra, 1984; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
LuxembourgWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
MacedoniaWidespreadNativePettersson, 1990; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
NetherlandsWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
NorwayWidespreadNativeDal, 1982; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
PolandWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996; Winiarska, 2003
PortugalWidespreadNativeBranger, 1983; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
-AzoresWidespreadNativeHowarth, 1973
RomaniaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996; Mustata and Mustata, 2000
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Central RussiaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
-Northern RussiaWidespreadNativeZolotarenko, 1982; Bogacheva, 1997
-Russian Far EastPresentNativeEitschberger and Hou, 1993
-Western SiberiaWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996
SpainWidespreadNativeTamplado, 1984; Branger, 1983; Ibero et al., 1989; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
SwedenWidespreadNativeDal, 1982; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
SwitzerlandWidespreadNativeKarsholt and Razowski, 1996; Porter, 1997
UKWidespreadNativeMeyrick, 1927; Heath and, 1970; Carter, 1984; Maitland and Heath, 1989; Karsholt and Razowski, 1996
-Channel IslandsWidespreadNativeHowarth, 1973; Maitland and Heath, 1989
-England and WalesPresentWilcockson and Shreeve, 2002
-Northern IrelandPresentAldwell, 2003
-ScotlandPresentWilcockson and Shreeve, 2002

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / external feeding
Leaves / frass visible
Whole plant / external feeding
Whole plant / frass visible

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Compsilura concinnata Parasite Larvae
Cotesia glomeratus Parasite Larvae
Cotesia rubecula Parasite Larvae
Epicampocera succincta Parasite Larvae
Phryxe vulgaris Parasite Larvae
Pteromalus puparum Parasite Pupae

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Leaves eggs; larvae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants eggs; larvae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches pupae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
Growing medium accompanying plants
True seeds (inc. grain)

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark


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Abadjiev SP, 2000. The problem name canidiaformis Drenowski and a proposed solution (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). SHILAP Revista de Lepidopterologia, 28(111):335-340; 27 ref.

Aldwell B, 2003. A survey of widespread resident butterflies in County Donegal, Ireland. Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society, No.27:187-201.

Alford DV, 1999. A textbook of agricultural entomology. A textbook of agricultural entomology., vi + 314 pp.; [many col. pl.]; 3 pp. of ref.

Andersson J; Borg-Karlson AK; Wiklund C, 2003. Antiaphrodisiacs in pierid butterflies: a theme with variation. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 29(6):1489-1499.

Bogacheva IA, 1997. Factors limiting northward expansion of phyllophagous insects: the example of Pieris napi L. and Pieris brassicae L. Russian Journal of Ecology, 28(4):256-259; 18 ref.

Bowden SR, 1972. Pieris napi L. and the superspecies concept. Journal of the Lepidopterist's Society, 26:170-173.

Bowden SR, 1983. Androconial scales and Scottish Artogeia napi (L.) Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Entomologist’s Gazette, 34:237-245.

Bowden SR, 1985. Taxonomy for a variable butterfly? Entomologist's Gazette, 36(2):85-90.

Branger G, 1983. The French and Moroccan subspecies of Pieris napi L. (Pieridae). Bulletin de la Societe des Sciences Naturelles de l'Ouest de la France, 5(3):173-178

Bßlint Z; Ilonczai Z, 2001. On the populations of Pieris bryoniae marani Moucha, 1956 (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) of the Bnkk Mts, NE Hungary. Folia Entomologica Hungarica, 62:388-391; 5 ref.

Buckler W, 1885. The larvae of the British Butterflies and moths. Volume 1 (The butterflies). London, UK: The Ray Society.

Capinera JL, 2001. Handbook of vegetable pests. Handbook of vegetable pests, xiv + 729 pp.

Carter DJ, 1984. Pest Lepidoptera of Europe with special reference to the British Isles. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Dr. W. Junk.

Carter DJ; Hargreaves B (Illustrator), 1986. A field guide to caterpillars of butterflies and moths in Britain and Europe. London, UK: Collins, 296 pp.

Clausen HD; Holbeck HB; Reddersen J, 2001. Factors influencing abundance of butterflies and burnet moths in the uncultivated habitats of an organic farm in Denmark. Biological Conservation, 98(2):167-178; 29 ref.

Courtney SP, 1988. Oviposition on peripheral hosts by dispersing Pieris napi (L.) (Pieridae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera, 26(1-4):58-63

Cunningham JC, 1968. Serological and morphological identification of some nuclear-polyhedrosis and granular viruses. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 11(1):132-141.

Dal B, 1982. The Butterflies of Northern Europe. London, UK: Croom and Helm.

Dal B; Irhammar C, 1981. Butterfly migration in the southern Baltic. Entomologisk Tidskrift, 102(2/3):73-74

Dover JW, 1989. The use of flowers by butterflies foraging in cereal field margins. Entomologist's Gazette, 40(4):283-291

Driesche RGvan; Nunn C; Pasquale A, 2004. Life history pattern, host plants, and habitat as determinants of population survival of Pieris napi oleracea interacting with an introduced braconid parasitoid. Biological Control, 29(2):278-287.

Eitschberger U, 1988. On Pieris (Artogeia) marginalis macdunnoughii Remington (Pieridae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera, 26(1-4):82-88.

Eitschberger U; Hou TQ, 1993. The taxa of the Pieris napi-bryoniae group (sensu lato) in China (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Entomotaxonomia, 15(3):192-200

Emmett BJ, 1980. Key for the identification of lepidopterous larvae infesting brassica crops. Plant Pathology, 29(3):122-123

Farahbakhsh EG, 1961. A checklist of economically important insects and other enemies of plants and agricultural products in Iran. Tehran, Iran: Department of Plant Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Publication 1, Plan Organization Press.

Forsberg J, 1987. Size discrimination among conspecific hostplants in two pierid butterflies; Pieris napi L. and Pontia daplidice L. Oecologia, 72(1):52-57

Gay T; Kehimkar ID; Punetha JC, 1992. Common butterflies of India. Bombay, India; Oxford University Press, 67 pp.

Geiger H; Shapiro AM, 1992. Genetics, systematics and evolution of Holarctic Pieris napi species group populations (Lepidoptera, Pieridae). Zeitschrift fur Zoologische Systematik und Evolutionsforschung, 30(2):100-122

Geiger HJ; Scholl A, 1985. Systematics and evolution of Holarctic Pierinp (Lepidoptera). An enzyme electrophoretic approach. Experientia, 41(1):24-29

Goulson D; Cory JS, 1993. Flower constancy and learning in foraging preferences of the green-veined white butterfly Pieris napi. Ecological Entomology, 18(4):315-320

Heath J, ed. , 1970. Provisional atlas of the insects of the British Isles. Part 1. Lepidoptera Rhopalocera, Butterflies (maps 1 to 57). Provisional atlas of the insects of the British Isles. Part 1. Lepidoptera Rhopalocera, Butterflies (maps 1 to 57). Biological Records Centre, Monks Wood Experimental Station. Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon UK, [60 pp.]

Howarth TG, 1973. South's British Butterflies. London, UK: Frederick Warne & Co.

Ibero C; Garcia-Barros E; Yela JL, 1989. Recompilation of information and proposals for a study of the distribution of Papilionoidea and Hesperiodea in Guadalajara Province. SHILAP, Revista de Lepidopterologia, 17(65):61-70

Kaitala A; Wiklund C, 1995. Female mate choice and mating costs in the polyandrous butterfly Pieris napi (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Journal of Insect Behavior, 8(3):355-363

Karsholt O; Razowski J, 1996. The Lepidoptera of Europe : a distributional checklist. The Lepidoptera of Europe : a distributional checklist., 380 pp.; 3 pp. of ref.

Kolesova DA; Demin YuV; Logachev AD, 1978. A new preparation - Dimilin. Zashchita Rastenii, No. 7:34

Kudrna O; Leigheb G, 1988. On the butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) of some Tyrrhenian islands (southern Italy). British Journal of Entomology and Natural History, 1(4):133-137

Kundrna O, 1974. Artogeia Verity, 1947, Gen. Rev. for Papilio Napi Linnaeus (Lep., Pieridae). Entomologist’s Gazette, 25:9-12.

Lees E, 1970. A univoltine race of Pieris napi in the Yorkshire Pennines. Entomologist, 103:260-262.

Lees E; Archer DM, 1974. Ecology of Pieris napi (L.) (Lep., Pieridae) in Britain. Entomological Gazette, 25:231-237.

Lorkovic Z, 1962. The genetics and reproductive isolating mechanisms of the Pieris napi-bryoniae group. Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society, 16(5):5-19.

Lundgren L, 1975. Natural plant chemicals acting as oviposition deterrents on cabbage butterflies (Pieris brassicae (L.), P. rapae (L.) and P. napi (L.)). Zoologica Scripta, 4(5/6):253-258

Maitland Emmet A; Heath J(Editors), 1989. The moths and butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Volume 7, Part I. Hesperiidae - Nymphalidae. The Butterflies. Colchester, UK; Harley Books, ix + 370 pp.

Meyrick E, 1927. A Revised Handbook of British Lepidoptera. London, UK: Watkins and Doncaster.

Mustata G; Mustata M, 2000. The parasitoid complex controlling Pieris populations in Moldavia - Romania. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft fu^umlaut~r allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie, 12(1-6):337-341; 6 ref.

Norin T, 2001. Pheromones and kairomones for control of pest insects. Some current results from a Swedish research program. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 73(3):607-612; 12 ref.

Pettersson CA, 1990. Aletia languida Walk., a moth new to Yugoslavia (Lep., Noctuidae, Hadeninae) and other Lepidoptera species collected in Yugoslavia. Acta Entomologica Jugoslavica, 23(1-2):73-77

Popov SYa; Popova TA, 1993. Field diagnostics of harmful butterflies on cabbage. Zashchita Rastenii^breve~ (Moskva), No. 6:38-39.

Porter AH, 1997. The Pieris napi/bryoniae hybrid zone at Pont de Nant, Switzerland: broad overlap in the range of suitable host plants. Ecological Entomology, 22(2):189-196; 36 ref.

Rai JPN; Tripathi RS, 1985. Effect of herbivory by the slug, Mariaella dussumieri, and certain insects on growth and competitive success of two sympatric annual weeds. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 13(2):125-137; [4 fig.].

Saarinen K, 2002. A comparison of butterfly communities along field margins under traditional and intensive management in SE Finland. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 90(1):59-65; 30 ref.

Schutte F, 1966. Observations on the flight of butterflies of the Genus Pieris. Proceedings of the German Society for Applied Entomology, 58(2):131-138.

Stepanova LA, 1962. An experiment in the ecological analysis of the conditions for the development of pests of cruciferous vegetable crops in nature. USSR Review of Entomology, 41(4):721-736.

Svitra G, 1984. Butterflies (Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera) of the valley of the middle and lower reaches of the Sventoji River in 19741981. Acta Entomologica Lituanica, 7:95-102

Templado J, 1984. Pieridos ibericos y cruciferas. Graellsia, 40:215-217.

Tennent WJ, 1993. Selected notes on some Algerian and Moroccan butterflies in 1992 including Coenonympha austauti Oberthur, 1881, new to Morocco. Entomologist's Gazette, 44(4):257-262

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Warren BCS, 1970. On three North African species of Pieris: P. maura Vty., P. atlantica Rotsch., P. segonzaci Le Cerf (Lep. Pieridae). Entomologists Record and Journal of Variation, 82:221-230.

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