The Cabbage White Land-grab!


Where is the cabbage green? Where is the cabbage red? And where is the Cabbage White?

The first two questions are easy. You pop down to Fruit & Veg City, or you find the vegetables at Woolworths, Pick n' Pay or Checkers. There are lots of green cabbages and red cabbages on sale there. Where is the Cabbage White Pieris brassicae? This is a question without a precise answer, because the answer is changing all the time. The Cabbage White is South Africa's only alien butterfly, and it is expanding its range continuously, and alarmingly.

This alien somehow got introduced to the Cape Peninsula in 1994. And it is spreading rapidly. It has spread along the Garden Route to the Eastern Cape, and northwards along the West Coast. And it keeps moving. One of the mini-projects within LepiMAP is to try to track the expansion of this alien.

So if you see this butterfly, please make an extra-special effort to take a photograph and submit it to the LepiMAP Virtual Museum at Your record might show that this species has extended its range even farther. LepiMAP is the Atlas of African Lepidoptera. While you are looking out for Cabbage Whites, please also take photographs of any other butterfly you encounter and "LepiMAP" them. And here is how: Get Involved.

Summary Statistics and distribution of Pieris brassicae

  Records Observers Grid cells
Grid cells
(SA region)
All years 0 0 0
2000+ 0 0 0
This year 0 0 0

VM map

Maphisa D.
Pieris brassicae
Cabbage white -- Koolwitjie (PIERIDAE)