|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [Dutch]|
|Leptidea sinapis / Wood White / Boswitje / Senffalter oder Tintenfleck-Weissling / Piéride de la Moutarde.|
The Wood White (Leptidea sinapis), is a butterfly of the Pieridae family. It is found in Europe and eastwards across the Caucasus, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Middle Asia, Kazakhstan and South Siberia to the Baikal region.
Geographical variation is slight but the following subspecies are recognized: spp. sinapis (Linnaeus, 1758) European (type locality Sweden , W. Siberia, the S. Altai; ssp. pseudodiniensis (Pfeiffer, 1927) the Caucasus , Kopet-Dagh; ssp. melanoinspersa Verity, 1911 W. and N. Tian-Shan, Dzhungarsky Alatau, Alai. There is an uncertainly ranked form from Darvaz.
The insect is found in meadows, forest edges and sparse forests up to 2,500 m above sea level.The adult flies from April-October in two, sometimes three, generations. Host plants in Europe (Eckstein, 1913; Lorkovic, 1947; Ebert, 1991): Fabaceae (Lathyrus pratensis, Lotus corniculatus, Vicia spp.).
Similar species are Lepidea morsei Leptidea duponcheli, L. amurensis and Leptidea reali.
Appearance, behaviour and distribution (Britain and Ireland)
Once a common and widespread butterfly across the southern half of the UK, this species has seen a drastic decline over the past 150 years. It is now found only in a few scattered colonies in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Surrey and Somerset. In Ireland, Wood Whites are much more common and widespread than in England. Moreover, until 2001, they were thought to be expanding their range there. However, it is now known that the vast majority are the almost identical species Real's Wood White Leptidea reali. L. sinapis is only found in the Burren region in the west of Ireland. It is Britain's smallest and rarest white butterfly and has a slow, delicate flight. Rarely, if ever, this species can be seen on treeless, unforested areas. The upperside is white with greyish tips to the forewings but they never settle with their wings open. The underside is a pale greyish green and serves as a good camouflage when settled. It has one main flight period in a season, late may to June but in warm summers a partial second shorter one occurs in August.
Lifecycle and foodplants (Britain and Ireland)
The female lays her eggs on various members of the pea family in late May and June, most commonly Meadow Vetchling Lathyrus pratensis, bitter vetch Lathyrus linifolius, Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca and Birds-foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus. The larvae are green and well camouflaged on their foodplant. Pupation takes place at the end of July in surrounding scrub and it is this stage which overwinters.
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