Caterpillar of Cabbage white butterfly Pieris brassicae Caterpillar chrysalis  Cabbage white butterflyCaterpillar chrysalis Cabbage white butterflyCaterpillar chrysalis case Cabbage white butterflyCabbage white butterfly Pieris brassicae

Life cycle of cabbage white butterfly



Munching away on my newly grown Canary creepers (Tropaeolum pergrinum) is a hoard of minute caterpillars all piled on top of one another. Those on the top are literally squashing those on the bottom layer. Bigger caterpillars are sensibly lying side-by-side. My eye rested on a nibbling bunch of little ones that are creating their own mini island. Only the leaf remains covered by their bodies and a rather thin stalk stops them all tumbling to the ground - for the moment at least.

My plant devoured, I felt rewarded when several days later I spotted a chrysalis anchored to a sedge leaf in another part of the garden. Over the next two weeks I watched, as it stayed attached to a slender leaf during strong winds and really heavy showers. Soaked through it turns a grey colour. Then one morning only the fragile casing remained. I like to think that the butterfly sitting on a mint leaf a few days later was my transformed chrysalis.