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Cryptic Wood White

Leptidea juvernica

  • Family: Whites and Yellows – Pieridae
  • Subfamily: Mimic Sulphurs – Dismorphiinae
  • Wing span: Medium-sized, 36–44 mm (1.42–1.73 in.).
  • Wing upper side: White, forewing tip grey or black.
  • Wing underside: Light yellow, light green and light grey as patches.
  • Habitat: Forest edges and clearings.
  • Flying time: Early May–late June.
  • Overwintering form: Cocoon.
  • Larval foodplant: Meadow vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis), tufted vetch (Vicia cracca), bush vetch (V. sepium) and also other Pea family (Fabaceae) plants.

The cryptic wood white was definred as a species in its own right in 2011. (It was earlier described as réal’s wood white). Like the wood white (L. sinapis), cryptic wood white always rests with its wings against each other, which makes their upper surface difficult to study. Their long, round-tipped wings and slow, fluttering flying style are characteristic properties of both wood white species, and it is very difficult to tell them apart with absolute certainty. The blotch on the tip of cryptic wood white’s forewings is slightly darker and spreads along the leading edge towards the base (wood white’s blotch spreads towards the tip). The cryptic wood white might be more common in Finland than it is thought to be, as a completely certain identification can only be made with a study of the genitals.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same group

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