Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Common Name: Cabbage White

Genus-Species: Pieris rapae

Host Plants: Cabbage plants – and other members of the mustard family, including mustard, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Habitat: Any open area with a variety of mustard species available for the larvae including gardens, old fields, and waysides.

Comments: The Cabbage White was introduced into the United States in 1860 and spread rapidly throughout the country. It is currently a very common butterfly in Wisconsin. This butterfly feeds on members of the mustard family, which includes such common garden plants as broccoli, cabbage, and turnips. This invasive species is thought to replace native species in some areas.