Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Wednesday Wildlife - Pieris

The name of a genus is designed to be unique to a group of animals or plants but there are occasional lapses. One of the more notable ones is Pieris which is the generic name for certain white butterflies and for a group of shrubs including the Lily of the Valley Shrub – Pieris japonica.

Equally interesting is the fact that the reference to the foodplant in the specific names of the butterflies erroneously suggest that the Green-veined White (Pieris napi) caterpillars eat swede whilst they actually leaves crop plants alone and feeds on wild members of the Brassica family.

The Cabbage White is a name given to both the Large White (Pieris brassicae) and the Small White (Pieris rapae).

The Green-veined White (Pieris napi)

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