Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Cabbage White Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Pieris rapae
Description: Caterpillars are green and covered with fine
white hairs, which give them a velvety look. A yellow line runs along the length of the body.
Chrysalis: The chrysalis is green or tan, depending on
the time of year and the structure to which it attaches.
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.
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy,
while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars
share certain morphological features.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.