Large White Life Cycle

PhilBWright
Posts: 282
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:04 pm

Large White Life Cycle

Postby PhilBWright » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:39 am

"Traditionally (recently) in the UK, I think Large White Butterflies have been more numerous in the summer than in the Spring.
Eggs laid on host plants are in clusters and repeated laying by different females results in small and large caterpillars growing together that can eventually "devastate" a cabbage patch for human consumption resulting in immature caterpillars needing to move elsewhere. Some people's ideas stop with a fearful thought of wasp grubs that eat a caterpillar alive from the inside out but what birds specifically are we encouraging the most, into one's cabbage patch in a garden to eat Large White Caterpillars full of wasp grubs? :D

Q2. Once one's Nestersions have got caterpillars, might it be a good idea to put one nestersion filled hanging basket in a less obvious position, (for example, not on a buddleja) :shock: , for another Large White Female not to find ?"

Q3. In Lincolnshire last year (2016), approximately mid-October was the last time I saw Cabbage Whites (Small & Large) in flight. Bearing that in mind, in that year what might have been the best date for a Large Cabbage White to lay eggs for a successful 2017 Spring emergence ?
(I think I know some Adult Large Whites come from Europe in the Spring).

essexbuzzard
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: Large White Life Cycle

Postby essexbuzzard » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:16 pm

Others on UKB have far better scientific knowledge than me, but it seems spring and autumn Large Cabbage Whites suffer far lower parasite rates than those in summer. Also, at least when I live, Large whites seem to have a slightly quicker life cycle than Small Whites, and more or less disappear in August, now we are in September they are common again. Whereas Small Whites don't have this August gap, so any third generation adults, if there are any, merge with second brood adults.

Nasturtiums, by the way, are not hardy and will be killed by the first frost. So any eggs laid on them now will not survive, unless the frost is very late.


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