Butterflies: Pieris napi
Let’s go back to talking about butterflies, this time introducing and showing you the green-veined white (Pieris napi), a butterfly of the Pieridae family which also includes the most famous cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae).
Small in size, with a wingspan of 35-45 mm, it has, like other white butterflies, a marked sexual dimorphism: the female has two spots on each of the front wings, the male only one, and has decidedly more marked veins on the wings.
It is a circumboreal species widespread throughout Europe and Asia, including the Indian subcontinent, Japan, the Maghreb and North America and can also live at high altitudes: 2500 m in central Europe, 2600 m in Italy, 3600 m in Morocco.
Unlike its bigger sister, the cabbage butterfly, it’s not to be considered a real parasite as the larvae are mainly deposited on wild plants.
Among the curiosities related to this moth, recent research has shown that when males mate with a female, they inject methyl salicylate along with their sperm. The smell of this compound repels the other males, thus assuring the first male the paternity of the eggs.
In the photos we can see both a male and a female specimen resting on the flowers of the field thistle (Cirsium arvense). In the first shots, even in the company of a fly, in particular a Calliphora vicina.