Mustard white

Pieris oleracea

''Pieris oleracea'', or more commonly known as the mustard white, is a butterfly in the family Pieridae native to a large part of Canada and the northeastern United States. The nearly all-white butterfly is often found in wooded areas or open plains. There are two seasonal forms, which make it distinct from other similar species. Because of climate change, populations are moving further north.

As indicated by the common name, ''P. oleracea'' adults and larvae primarily feed on plants in the mustard family, ''Brassicaceae''. The species is threatened by the rapid, and monoculture-forming, spread of the invasive species ''Alliaria petiolata'', which is toxic to larvae. Populations of ''P. oleracea'' have been declining.https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=wright1431882480&disposition=inline It may be that this butterfly is slowly adapting to garlic mustard. However, it may not be a fast enough process to ensure its survival, due to the high level of aggression on the part of the plant and the continuing encroachment of human development.
Pieris oleracea Pieris oleracea (Mustard White) perhaps just recently emerged from its chrysalis. Geotagged,Minnesota,Mustard white,Pieris oleracea,Spring,United States

Naming

* ''Pieris napi'' – green-veined white
⤷  ''Pieris virginiensis'' – West Virginia white
⤷  ''Pieris marginalis'' – margined white
Mustard White A Mustard White (Pieris oleracea) butterfly on the shoreline of the South Nation River, High Falls Conservation Area, Casselman, Ontario, Canada. Canada,Casselman,Geotagged,High Falls Conservation Area,Mustard White,Mustard white,Ontario,Pieris oleracea,Summer,butterfly

Behavior

Because of changing climate conditions, broods are expanding farther north.

There has been a steady decline in the populations of ''P. oleracea,'' which is being attributed to either climate change, the expansion of the toxic garlic mustard plant, human development, or, most likely, a combination of these factors.

During the day, males observe the population to look for females to mate with.

Habitat

These butterflies are found in prairies, near streams, and in moist deciduous areas. In the spring, they are found more readily in the moist areas, either the woodlands or open fields.

''P. oleracea'' is a biovoltine species, meaning it tends to have two broods seasonally. The time in which they fly can depend on the area the inhabit. Usually, the butterflies migrate once in June, and once again in late July. However, in southern Ontario, there can be three to four generations, and farther up north it has been observed where there is only one generation.

Reproduction

''P. oleracea'' larvae are yellow and shaped like cones, with vertical ridges. Larvae that are mature have many black spots with a green body, dark dorsal stripe, and short, dense hairs. The pupae can range in color from brown to white to green, and have dorsal and apical projections.

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderLepidoptera
FamilyPieridae
GenusPieris
SpeciesP. oleracea