The Cabbage White butterfly is the most common butterfly in urban and suburban gardens, agricultural fields and the edge of woods throughout North America. But this has not always been the case. This butterfly, a native species to Europe and Asia, was accidentally introduced into Quebec in 1860, and again near New York in 1871 and by the turn of the century it had spread across the continent (Gochfeld and Burger, 1997, The Butterflies of New Jersey, Rutgers University Press). Titan Peale collected the species in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia just a few years after the New York introduction; by 1889, lepidopterists described the species as "painfully common" in Philadelphia. The caterpillar of the Cabbage White butterfly is a pest on crucifer crops such as cabbage and broccoli.
Pieris rapae specimens in the Peale CollectionBox 11, Specimen 24a [Holmesburg, PA, 1874]
Box 11, Specimen 24b [Holmesburg, PA, 1874]
Box 11, Specimen 25 [Pennsylvania?, 1874?]
Box 66, Specimen 299 [Red Bank, NJ 1881]
ANSP General Collection [no locality]
CMNH Collection [Europe]
CMNH Collection [no locality]