Due to the sheer number of named aberrations for some species, not all are shown on the species pages - only those for which corresponding images are available. This page, however, provides access to all of the named aberrations for a given species, where known and Goodson & Read (1969) is a key resource in this regard.
This species exhibits great variation in the colour and shade of the ground colour as well as the extent of the spotting. As usual in the 'whites' many aberrations are unique to either male or female specimens, and being seasonally dimorphic some aberrations are also specific to the generation or 'brood'.
This species has been the subject of much experimental breeding in the past, particularly of the impressive aberrations suphurea and fasciata. The aberration sulphurea has been recorded chiefly in Scotland and Ireland and specimens from these areas were bred en masse by entomologists in the early 20th century. These aberrations were popular with breeders and collectors and while scarce now in the wild, a large number of these impressive forms can be found in collections.
There are 79 named aberrations known to occur in Britain.
= intersecta MÃ¼ller.(Verity.nom.nud.1911).MÃ¼ll.&.Kautz.nap.1938.p.137.
Verity is not clear in his description but presumably the male has the apical mark broken up into a series of triangular patches at the end of the veins, which are usually very pale. In the female it is sometimes lacking altogether. MÃ¼llerâ€™s intersecta, from Verityâ€™s footnote description in Rhop.Pal., had the apical mark divided by light streaks.
On the underside of the forewings there are three black discal spots, the two normal ones in the disc and a third near the apex.
The basal portion of all wings conspicuously black.
The base of the forewings instead of black or grey is ochre coloured.
The grey markings contrast with the black of the discal spots of the forewings and the black costal spot of the hindwings.
= bipunctata Osthelder.Schmett.Sudbayern.1925.1.p.60.
Male. On the upperside of the forewings there are two black discal spots instead of the normal one, the extra one being the lower, nearest the inner margin.
On the underside of the hindwings the middle cell is divided into two parts along its length by a thin stripe of scales. Described in 1955 under bryoniae [Mountain Green-veined White] but included in napi [Green-veined White] in 1956.
Female in which the black apical mark is absent.
The ground colour, especially towards the base, of a flesh colour veiled with grey scales.
The ground colour as in normal napi but the colia [sic] [costa] and immediate outside margins of all wings flushed with bright citron-yellow, particularly at the apex disappearing as it reaches the tornus, never occurring along the inner margin.
On the upperside of the forewings the two black discal spots are united by black scales.
On the upperside of the forewings the upper discal spot is connected by dark suffusion to the apical patch.
= conjuncta MÃ¼ller.(Verity.nom.nud.1911).MÃ¼ll.&.Kautz.napi.1938.p.126.pl.12.f.3.
Female form with the two discal spots and the apical patch all joined up by black scales thus forming a continuous black band.
Summer brood specimens with the dark dusting of the veins on the underside of the hindwings strongly reduced, only in the basal half being slightly visible. Verity states that English specimens are of the form and calls them a race, prenapaeae. Our summer form varies very much in this character and Rocciâ€™s form can stand as an aberration.
Female. The two discal spots on the upperside of the forewings are present but there is no dark streak on the inner margin.
On the upperside of the forewings the lower of the two black discal spots is divided into two parts.
Forewings drawn out or elongated as in ab. elongata GÃ©lin of P. brassicae [Large White].
The basal wash invades a great part of the wings. This is not the same as ab. basinigra Harwood as MÃ¼ller suggests.
= cincta Caruel.Rev.Fr.Lep.1954.14.p.153.
Female with the discal spots and apical patch all joined by black scales to form a band as in ab. continua Bryk. In addition, the hindwings also show a band of broken spots, the normal costal one and three others below it. Slightly more extreme than ab. interjuncta Cabeau, the extra spot placed near the anal angle causing the hindwing band to appear much more complete.
One female hybrid napi [Green-veined White] x rapae [Small White] with yellowish ground colour with strikingly enlarged black markings.
= flava Kane.(nom.preoc.Cockerell).Entom.1893.26.p.119.
Female form only. Tutt, describing ab. sulphurea males as clear sulphur-yellow, adds his description of what he thought were the females of it, â€œthe females yellowâ€. He follows this with, â€˜â€™the underside pale as in napaeae [summer brood form, Esper], the veins indistinctâ€. These are not the females of sulphurea which are yellow on the underside but the yellow ones taken in Caithness, Orkney, and sometimes in England, with a more or less normal underside and the same as the form which Kane named flava. Kaneâ€™s flava was described as saffron-yellow on the upperside with the base and nervures as far as the fringes beautifully suffused grey. Underside of the hindwings and apex of forewings yellow-ochre, approaching orange. The form is separated from sulphurea Schoyen, the yellow â€˜Headâ€™ strain, by having only the apex of the underside of the forewings yellow, the disc being white. In the yellow â€˜Headâ€™ strain the disc is also yellow.
Female of a not very decided yellowish colour. The figure shows a specimen merely tinted with yellow, less than flavescens Tutt but transitional to it. Type from Perthshire.
On the underside the green markings are replaced by yellow.
Male. The underside of the hindwings showing the veins marked with a limited number of suffused scales but terminating at the margin in triangles of dense grey scales that contrast with the rest of the nervures, which are green. The figure shows a fairly normal hindwing but with large triangular grey spots at the marginal end of the veins.
Males, which on the underside exhibit a series of black scales immediately below the normal forewing discal spot. In some cases these scales form a band uniting the two spots when both are present but occurs equally well in specimens having the lower spot absent. As in ab. lachrymosa Thompson in which this character is on the upperside only, the black may extend upwards to the apex. Presumably the upperside is normal.
All wings of a smoky grey, the costa delicate pale yellow.
The entire surface of the wings a smoky, greyish coffee colour.
The colour of the markings of the upperside not grey or blackish but distinctively brownish.
Female with pale grey shading on the margins of all wings, intersected by interneural white streaks.
= griseopicta MÃ¼ller.MÃ¼ll.&.Kautz.napi.1938.p.137.,Verity.nom.nud.1911.
The costa, apex and basal area of the forewings of a pearl or silver grey as are also the nervures. MÃ¼llerâ€™s griseopicta had all the black markings replaced by grey.
Specimens of the yellow â€˜Headâ€™ strain, citron-yellow above and below, but completely without pattern. There is no dusting on the veins, in particular on the underside of the hindwings. Most probably the yellow form of albino. The plate by Ryska shows an albino of the yellow strain, which he calls ab. headi but this has a normal pattern on the upperside but in the silver-grey of the albino form.
Underside of the hindwings showing the veins heavily dusted or thickened in the basal two thirds, after which they become narrow, or less dusted, in the outer third of the wings.
On the upperside the specimen looks like P. rapae [Small White] but on the underside like napi [Green-veined White].
= thusnelda Stauder.Bull.Soc.Adriat.1922.27.p.139.
Female form with less pattern on the upperside. The black spots completely absent or almost so.
Female with the apical patch extended to form an area entirely covered with black scales from the costal extremity of vein 10 down to the upper black discal spot, then along to the margin at the extremity of vein 4, enveloping the black spot. Apparantley more extreme than ab. triangulata.
= impunctata Da Silva Cruz & Goncalves.Mem.Mus.Zool.Univ.Coimbra.1943.ser.1.no.150.p.13.
Male. No markings on the upperside except the apical mark and basal suffusion.
On the underside of the hindwings near the base between subcostal and radius is a dark spot of the same colour as the suffusion along the nervures.
= detersa MÃ¼ller.(Verity.nom.nud.1911).MÃ¼ll.&.Kautz.napi.1938.p.137.
Male with the upperside completely white with no traces of black. MÃ¼llerâ€™s detersa had all the black markings of the upperside obliterated.
A combination form of continua Bryk and posteromaculata Reverdin and the aberration of P. rapae [Small White] binigrata Derenne. The forewings upperside show the discal spots and the apical patch joined by a suffusion of black scales forming a broad band. The hindwings show a dark spot in the disc and a smaller one immediately below the black costal spot. Transitional to ab. fasciata Kautz.
Summer brood specimens only. The vein dusting on the underside of the hindwings narrow but as heavy as in the spring brood (typical napi) and extending to the margin.
Specimens of the yellow strain (sulphurea) with the pigmentation unevenly distributed, on both upper and underside, giving the effect of having been bleached.
Male. The black costal spot on the hindwings is absent. The discal spot of the forewings is however present.
Males which on the upperside exhibit a series of black scales immediately below the normal forewing discal spot. The scales may also be produced towards the apex. Underside form ab. fulgoris shows similar characteristics.
Male with the apical mark very strong, the nervures thin but very black. The bases of the wings carbon black travelling up to the costa and almost joining the apical patch. Head, antennae, thorax and abdomen strongly blackish.
The veins on the underside of the hindwings are broad right through to the margins, not diminishing as in normal napi.
A dark marginal line preceeding the fringe on the margins of all wings.
The discal spots of the forewings of the female elongated longitudinally.
The discal spots of the forewings in the female so enlarged that they extend beyond their interneural spaces.
The black costal spot of the hindwings very much enlarged.
= cuneata MÃ¼ller.MÃ¼ll.&.Kautz.1938.p.130.pl.15.figs.6 and 12.
On the upperside of the hindwings the veins are broadened as they approach the margins, forming rather large wedges of deep black.
= napella Lambillion.Pap.de Belg.(Nat.Hist.et Moeurs).1902.p.18.
= minor Crombrugghe.Ann.Soc.Ent.Belg.1902.46.p.20.
= minima Verity.Rhop.Pal.1908.p.143.pl.32.f.20.
= minima Muschamp.Ent.Rec.1911.23.p.273.
= nanella Strand.Arch.Maturg.1920.85.A(4).p.214.
= lambella Kautz.Verh.zool.-bot.Ges.Wien.1927.77.p.48.
= nana Finke.Int.Ent.Z.1934.28.p.394.,nom.preoc.RÃ¶ber.
The description of these dwarfs varies somewhat but it seems best to include them all under the first name by Agassiz. Small and very small specimens.
Small male, slightly yellowish. At the apex of the forewings there is only a greyish darkening at the ends of the veins, no other markings except the dark basal suffusion.
A definite hybrid between napi male [Green-veined White] x rapae female [Small White], bred from a pairing obtained and observed by the author. In the majority of specimens napi predominated.
There is much confusion over this form, some authors placing it in napi and some with rapae [Small White]. It has been fixed by Lempke in Lamb.45.f.57.1945 as belonging to napi. The figure looks more like rapae but BergstrÃ¤sser states in his text that it may be a variety of napi, presumably because of the underside markings. The form is therefore a male napi showing a costal mark or spot above the median discal spot and with the main apical triangular mark absent. Lempke names the analogous form in P. rapae ab. costimaculata.
This name should be withdrawn from P. napi since OberthÃ¼r who had the specimen says that it is definitely P. rapae [Small White]. See ab. nigrans Lempke under P. rapae.
On the underside of the hindwings the whole of cell 7 is uniformly powdered over with dark scales. This complete darkening of the cell, which shows no normal yellow, gives the appearance of dirty grey-yellow. Occurs in both napi [Green-veined White] and bryoniae [Mountain Green-veined White]. The figure shows cell 7, in the costal area between the subcostal vein and first radial, filled in with dark scales, darkening the costa from the base outwards.
Female form. On the upperside the veins are strongly powdered with black almost like bryoniae [Mountain Green-veined White], but the ground colour is not yellowish. This is regarded as a synonym of sabellicae Stephens by most authors but it is difficult to see why. In the figure of sabellicae the veining is not at all striking and Stephens makes a point of the rounded wings. Tutt is possibly responsible since, in his Brit.Butts.1896.p.237, he states that Selys himself regarded sabellicae as being the same as his nigrovenosa. Selyâ€™s nigrovenosa therefore is the name for napi of normal build and ground colour, with the veins standing out strongly dusted with black.
All wings uniformly pale grey.
The markings strongly obsolescent, no prominent markings.
= subtochracea Kautz.MÃ¼ll.&.Kautz.napi.1938.p.148.pl.13.f.10.
Female of the summer generation with the underside of a bright ochreous ground colour. Kautzâ€™s subtochracea would appear to be the same, the colour of the hindwings ochre instead of yellow, the forewings normal.
All wings bright canary-yellow but the black marking replaced by olive-brown.
Albino form. All the black markings replaced by dull pale grey appearing almost translucent.
On the upperside of the hindwings a small dark spot in the disc.
The upperside of the forewings without a trace of the dark veining and the dark basal dusting almost gone, the rest of the markings reduced.
Summer brood specimens in which on the underside of the hindwings the vein darkening fails altogether. This would seem to be the same as napaeae Esper [summer brood form].
= pseudometa Marquardt.Ent.Z.1958.68.p.256.
Female. Two different specimens. In number 1 the basal field is almost without pattern and the median field entirely without. The marginal field has a thick light grey marginal band - with marginal streak. The discal spots are enlarged, the third (uppermost) is clearly developed as in supermaculata MÃ¼ller. The hindwings, with the exception of the poorly developed costal spot, without pattern. In number 2 specimen (extreme) whilst the ground colour remains white, the whole of the patterning is heavy blackish-brown. The basal dusting is extended as far as the median field and on the costa to beyond the middle, on the inner margin as far as the margin. Forewings with a broad heavy marginal band and very strongly developed marginal streak connecting with the lower discal spot. Hindwings on the margin as far as vein A2 there are strong partly united spots and there is posteromaculata marking below the enlarged costal spot between M1 and M2 and below C1 and C2, which cut off the inner side of the strengthened dusting on the veins. The example is a transition to the supermeta type.
Like nigrovenosa Selys but in addition has a streak from the lower discal spot to the margin as in bryoniae [Mountain Green-veined White] so that it can hardly be distinguished from bryoniae-radiata.
= pseudoradiata-obscura Marquardt.Ent.Z.1958.68.p.256.
Female. Like pseudoradiata MÃ¼ller with streaked margin but also a darker specimen. The veins of the upperside are more heavily scaled and there is a heavy grey basal scaling as far as the disc and beyond, also the hind marginal cell as far as the margin.
Specimens of the summer generation with grey pattern instead of black and therefore appearing as spring generation.
= nigronotata MÃ¼ller.(Verity.nom.nud.1911).MÃ¼ll.&.Kautz.napi.1938.p.124.
Male showing a well defined black spot in the disc of the forewings and a costal spot on the hindwings. The type form has a spot in the disc, RÃ¶ber restricting this to the type form in 1907, presumably the â€˜well definedâ€™ term means that it is more prominent.
A series of small black spots at the extremities of the veins, especially on the hindwings.
Female with an extra black spot between the two discal spots of the forewings and a small dark spot in the disc of the hindwings. A combination of trimaculata Rocci and posteromaculata Reverdin.
All wings above and below bright canary-yellow with the veins heavily outlined with dark scales.
Believed to be a hybrid rapae [Small White] x napi [Green-veined White]. See description.
= intermedia Krulikowsky.Bull.Soc.Nat.Mosc.(1890)1891.new ser.4.p.211.pl.8.f.a.
Female. Strongly darkened with the basal half of the wings strongly dusted and dark dusting between the upper discal spot and the apical patch. The veins strongly darkened and sometimes a black dusting along the inner margin as in ab. pseudoradiata MÃ¼ller. The form appears somewhat similar to bryoniae [Mountain Green-veined White]. The hindwings upperside not mentioned, so presumably normal. The figure shows the apical area (twice the area of the normal black mark) well dusted with dark scales, the apical mark itself still standing out in blackish. The base dark dusted and stretching out along the inner margin to the middle of the wing. The hindwings more or less normal.
Round-winged form with reduced wing expanse. The outer margin of the forewings strongly convex and the apical angle distinctly obtuse. In most specimens the distance between the apex and the inner angle is almost the same as between the base and the apex. Bred is a series by Easton.
All wings above and below canary-yellow as in the sulphurea group but overlaid with grey.
Female showing two small black spots between the two discal spots on the upperside of the forewings.
Female. On the upperside of the forewings only one of the two discal spots is present, either the upper or lower one.
On the upperside of the forewings the lower discal spot connects with the margin in a neural streak. This seems to be a form with such a large degree of development that it can hardly be tied to one particular form.
= napae-divisa Pionneau.Proc.Verb.Soc.Linn.Bord.1924.76.p.88.IN ERROR.
Since this form is linked by name to Verityâ€™s race subnapaeae it cannot be used for British examples. Presumably Lempke has given the covering name divisa for all examples of the form which, is very much more sensible.
On the underside of the hindwings and apex of forewings the normal yellowish colour is replaced by milky-white.
On the underside of the forewings both discal spots are absent.
The whole of the underside of the forewings yellowish. Found mostly in the summer generation. The figure shows the disc of the forewings merely off-white, only faintly tinged with yellow.
On the underside of the hindwings the black costal spot is absent.
On the underside of the forewings only one discal spot, in the male the lower one, in the female the upper one.
On the underside of the forewings the two discal spots are united by dark dusting. Presumably the upperside is normal. Thompsonâ€™s ab. fulgoris, with the same character, was for males only so if Kautzâ€™s name is used it must be for females.
On the underside only the character divisa Pionneau, i.e. the lower discal spot divided into two parts.
On the underside of the hindwings the outer margin is dark dusted, similar to the upperside form ab. irrorata Nies. of Pieris bryoniae [Mountain Green-veined White].
On the underside of the forewings the discal spots are distinctly enlarged. This is much rarer than when on the upperside.
On the underside of the hindwings the dark spot in the disc, seen in ab. posteromaculata Reverdin on the upperside, is present. Presumably the upperside does not show it.
On the underside of the hindwings the green neural streaks are very broad and diffused and, instead of becoming narrower towards the margin, are enlarged in a striking manner after leaving the basal area. The result is that the wings are so dark that they could be described as being entirely powdered with olivaceous-green scales with light streaks in the interneural spaces. The coloured figure does not seem to be nearly so dark dusted as the description implies.
= flava Cockerell.Entom.1889.22.p.126.
= aurea Mosley.Nat.Journ.5.Suppl.March.p.6.pl.2.f.10.
= hibernica Schmidt.Ent.Z.1913.27.p.134.
= flava OberthÃ¼r.Lep.Comp.1925.22.2.p.96.pl.DXCIII.figs.5018-19.,nom.preoc.Cockerell.
= lutea OberthÃ¼r.Lep.Comp.1925.22.2.p.96.pl.DXCIII.f.5020.
= citronea Frohawk.Entom.1928.61.p.77.,see Head.Entom.68.p.51.1935.
= flavescens Frohawk.Entom.1928.61.p.77.,nom.preoc.Tutt.
Schoyenâ€™s sulphurea was sulphur-yellow on upper and underside. Cockerellâ€™s flava bright canary-yellow upper and underside. This was described from the specimen mentioned in Barrett vol.1.p.25, most authors missing it. The specimen was taken in Norfolk. Mosleyâ€™s aurea was almost certainly of this same form since he likened it to a watercolour by Miss Barrett, probably the same insect mentioned in Barrett vol.1.p.25 which was bright canary-yellow. Schmidtâ€™s hibernica, described from specimens of the â€˜Headâ€™ strain was bright canary-yellow above and below. OberthÃ¼râ€™s flava was also from the â€˜Headâ€™ strain and given as â€˜flava Headâ€™. The figures show male and female bright yellow above and below. His lutea much paler. Frohawkâ€™s citronea and flavescens were the extreme ends of the depth of yellow, citronea being a rich citron-yellow, flavescens a pale primrose. Bowden, who had seen the type of lutea OberthÃ¼r, says that it is certainly of the sulphurea group.
From Russian Lapland and may be confined to it. Most authors say that it is of a dirty yellow above and bright canary-yellow below.
= tricircummaculata Sousa.Mem.Zool.Univ.Coimbra.1929.31.p.2.
Female showing a definite black spot near the costal apex of the forewings, standing out from the apical patch and thus appearing as three distinct spots, two discal and one costal. Sousaâ€™s tricircummaculata was described as an aberration of the subspecies lusitanica and had a superimposed circular spot near the apex.
Specimens of the summer generation with distinctively reduced discal spots. Described as a summer generation form of the subspecies meridionalis but Lempke accepts the name to include all such weakly marked examples. See Tijdschr.Ent.96.p.289.
Forewings without the black discal spot but the hindwings showing a black costal spot.
The discal spots of the forewings very much nearer to the outer margin than in normal specimens. In extreme examples there is only a thin patch of white scales present to separate them from the margin.
The apical mark of the forewings very large and in the form of an equilateral triangle. The black in certain of the intervals is feebly divided by faint traces of the white ground colour.
An extra black spot between the two normal discal spots on the upperside of the forewings, making three.
The green markings of the underside invade the whole surface of the hindwings.
On the upperside of the hindwings there is a supplementary black spot, small and situated immediately beneath the large costal spot. This is above the position of the spot in ab. posteromaculata Reverdin.
On the underside the green vein dusting is replaced by grey.
Confined to the Irish subspecies britannica Verity. The nervures thickened and very black and the black of the apical patch similarly intensified, corresponding to Barrettâ€™s description, â€œin the north of Ireland, especially in the second brood, females occur in which the apex is strongly black, the spots large and the nervures much more thickened or blackenedâ€.
Female resembling a male. The upperside of the forewings with a blackish apex and slight basal darkening and the hindwings with a small black costal spot, no other markings. Apparently, even the inner-marginal streak, as well as the discal spots, is absent.
On the upperside of the hindwings, at the extreme ends of the veins, are large round spots of a greyish colour, starting at the apex and decreasing in size towards the anal angle. Differs from ab. marginestixis Dannehl by the round, not wedge-like spots.