Distribution. Southern cabbageworm, also known as the checkered white, is found throughout the United States and south into Mexico. It is native to North America. As its common name suggests, it is principally a southern insect, and occurs in the North only sporadically. It is rare in the New England states and southern Canada.
Host Plants. Southern cabbageworm attacks a variety of cultivated crucifers, but is much less abundant than imported cabbageworm, Pieris rapae (Linnaeus). Apparently southern cabbageworm, which formerly was quite abundant in some localities, has been largely displaced by Pieris rapae. Vegetable crops known to be attacked are cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, radish, and turnip. The host range is probably equivalent to imported cabbageworm, but because southern cabbageworm is not a serious pest it has not been well studied. Wild crucifers that support the growth of southern cabbageworm include pepperweed, Lepidium spp.; yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris; shepherdspurse, Capsella bursa-pastoris; tansy-mustard, Descurainia pinnata; field pennycress, Thlaspi arvense; hoary cress, Cardaria draba; black mustard, Brassica nigra; and others.
Life Cycle and Description. Three or four generations occur annually. Southern cabbageworm overwinters in the pupal stage.
The biology of southern cabbageworm was given by Opler and Krizek (1984), and Scott (1986).
Larvae prefer to feed on flowers and flower buds, but they also eat leaves. On cabbage, they restrict their
feeding to the outer leaves. This makes them much less damaging than imported cabbageworm, which bore into the head.
Southern cabbageworm butterflies were observed to be highly attracted to fluorescent orange, and to be captured with sticky traps, especially when the traps were positioned close to the soil surface (Capi-nera, 1980). The methods discussed for management of imported cabbageworm are also appropriate for southern cabbageworm.
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