Green-veined White (Early Stages)

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Vince Massimo
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Green-veined White (Early Stages)

Postby Vince Massimo » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:11 pm

The Green-veined White is one of the most widespread species in the British Isles, and it is especially common in damp grasslands and woodland rides. It gets its name from the often beautiful and variable markings on the undersides of its wings, although there tends to be some general correlation in the appearance of individuals within a particular seasonal brood. In most parts of Britain it is double brooded and there is small third brood in warm years.

The egg and larva

The butterfly utilises many of the larval host plants favoured by other species of White, including Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea), Water Cress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum) and various crucifers as well as Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus). The pale conical eggs are laid singly on the host plant and look very similar to those of the Small White.

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Ovum - Godstone, Surrey 21-Aug-2013

The young larva is very pale when it hatches and will consume its eggshell before starting on the leaves of the plant. It soon acquires its green colouration and has a close resemblance to the appearance of the larva of the Small White.

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First instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 10-May-2017

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First instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 10-May-2017

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First instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 12-May-2017

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First instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 12-May-2017

The early instars feed underneath the leaves of the food plant, forming tell-tale holes.

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First instar feeding damage on Garlic Mustard leaf - Crawley, Sussex 11-May-2017

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Second instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 11-May-2015

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Second instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 11-May-2015

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Second instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 14-May-2017

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Second instar larva (pre-moult) - Crawley, Sussex 15-May-2017

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Third instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 15-May-2017

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Third instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 16-May-2017

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Third instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 17-May-2017

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Third instar larva (pre-moult) - Crawley, Sussex 20-May-2015

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Third instar larva (moulting) - Crawley, Sussex 20-May-2015

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Fourth instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 21-May-2015

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Fourth instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 18-May-2017

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Fourth instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 19-May2017

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Fourth instar larva (pre-moult) - Crawley, Sussex 24-May-2015

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Fifth instar larva (post moult) - Crawley, Sussex 24-May-2015

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Fifth instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 25-May-2015

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Fifth instar larva - Crawley, Sussex 7-Sept-2016

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Final instar larva (fully grown) - Crawley, Sussex 29-May-2015

One difference between this and the larva of the Small White is that it does not have the pale yellow stripe down its back. However the principal diagnostic feature differentiating it from the larva of its close relative is the colouration around the spiracles which lie along the flank of the caterpillar.

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Small White larval segments (flank)

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Green-veined White larval segments (flank)

When ready to pupate the larva usually leaves the food plant to find a sheltered spot low down in vegetation, although it has also been found to utilise posts, fences and tree trunks.

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Larva (2 hours before pupation) - Crawley, Sussex 30-May-2015

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Larva preparing to pupate 30-May-2015

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Larva commencing pupation 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Larva pupating 30-May-2015

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Pupa (freshly emerged) 30-May-2015

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Re: Green-veined White (Early Stages)

Postby Vince Massimo » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:39 pm

THE PUPA

Not only can pupae of this species be characterised by different colour forms (green and brown), but also by the function that they serve. There is a soft form which specifically gives rise to an adult in the same season. This can come in a variety of colours and, because it does not have survive through the winter, has a thinner and more translucent pupal case. The over-wintering form has an altogether more robust casing, with particularly noticeable raised veins on the wing covers.

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Overwintering pupa (4 days old) with raised veins - Crawley, Sussex 2-June-2017

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Pupa (soft form) 3 days old - Crawley, Sussex 29-May-2017

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Pupa (soft form) 6 days old - Crawley, Sussex 1-June-2017

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Pupa (soft form) 29 hours before emergence - Crawley, Sussex 2-June-2017

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Pupa (soft form) 12 hours before emergence - Crawley, Sussex 3-June-2017

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Pupa (soft form) 7 hours before emergence - Crawley, Sussex 4-June-2017

Both forms of pupa illustrated above came from eggs from the same female which were laid on the same day. Two produced adults in 12 days from soft pupae, while the third resulted in an overwintering pupa.


The following example is a green form which developed into a female in 11 days.

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Larva preparing to pupate - Crawley, Sussex 9-May-2015

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Pupa (freshly emerged) 30-May-2015

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Pupa (1 hour old) 30-May-2015

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Pupa (2 hours old) 30-May-2015

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Pupa (6 hours old) 30-May-2015

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Pupa (1 day old) 31-May-2015

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Pupa (3 days old) 3-June-2015

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Pupa (6 days old) 6-June-2015

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Pupa (72 hours before emergence) 7-June-2015

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Pupa (48 hours before emergence) 8-June-2015

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Pupa (27 hours before emergence) 9-June-2015

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Pupa (5 hours before emergence) 10-June-2015

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Pupa (3 hours before emergence) 10-June-2015

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Pupa (1 hour before emergence) 10-June-2015

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Adult emerging 10-June-2015

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Adult expanding wings 10-June-2015


The following is the development of a brown form of the pupa which overwintered and produced a male.

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Larva preparing to pupate - Caterham, Surrey 1-Oct-2013

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Pupa (1 hour old) 2-Oct-2013

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Pupa (5 hours old) 2-Oct-2013

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Pupa (9 hours old) 2-Oct-2013

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Pupa (25 hours old) 3-Oct-2013

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Pupa (7 days old) 8-Oct-2013

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Pupa (6 weeks before emergence) 6-March-2014

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Pupa (24 hours before emergence) 18-April-2014

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Pupa (10 hours before emergence) 19-April-2014

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Pupa (6 hours before emergence) 19-April-2014

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Pupa (2 hours before emergence) 19-April-2014

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Pupa (10 minutes before emergence) 19-April-2014

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Commencing emergence 19-April-2014

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Adult emerging 19-April-2014

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Adult emerging 19-April-2014

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Adult emerging 19-April-2014

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Adult emerging 19-April-2014

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Adult emerging 19-April-2014

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Expanding wings 19-April-2014

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Hardening wings 19-April-2014

In this case, commencing at 7.39pm, it took the adult 60 seconds to emerge. The fact that it was male was already known by the markings showing through the transparent pupal case, but it was surprising to see that the underside was so beautifully marked. It was released 40 hours later when weather conditions permitted.

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Male release - Caterham, Surrey 21-April-2014

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Underwing detail

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Male release - Caterham, Surrey 21-April-2014

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Vince Massimo
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Re: Green-veined White (Early Stages)

Postby Vince Massimo » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:58 pm

Reference Images of Adults


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Male (first brood) - Addington, Surrey 21-May-2012

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Male (second brood) - Chaldon, Surrey 30-July-2012

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Male (second brood) - Woldingham, Surrey 23-June-2011

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Male (first brood) - Chaldon, Surrey 13-April-2010

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Male (second brood) - Southwater Wood, Sussex 5-July-2010

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Female (third brood) - Chaldon, Surrey 15-Sept-2011

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Female (first brood) - Crawley, Sussex 27-April-2006

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Female (second brood) - Caterham, Surrey 6-July-2010

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Mating pair (second brood) - Woldingham, Surrey 30-June-2011


As the early stages of this species can look so similar to those of the Small White, you can see those details here:
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=4681

Vince

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Vince Massimo
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Re: Green-veined White (Early Stages)

Postby Vince Massimo » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:48 pm

This report has now been completely revised with many new images and text changes. In order to avoid any confusion, all reference to the original has been removed. I was pleased to get the opportunity of updating it and so a fresh start was considered the best way of presentation :D .

Vince

Further significant revisions were made on 23rd July 2017, including additional images.


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