Wood White

Leptidea sinapis (Linnaeus, 1758)



A medium-small sized white butterfly with black tips to the forewing with two generations a year. The underside of the hindwing has grey markings in the first brood, which can appear quite yellowish in the second brood. It could be confused with butterflies in the genus Pieris. However, the wing shape is quite distinctive.

Habitat Requirements

Woodlands, scrub. 

Larval Foodplants

Yellow Vetchling Lathyrus aphaca, Lathyrus grandiflorus (large pink/purple flowers), Tuberous Pea Lathyrus tuberosus - not on Corfu, Common Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus not on Corfu, Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus pedunculatus. Anne Sordinas observed oviposition in Corfu, on a host plant identified by Gillian Elsom as possibly either Cytisus villosus and Chamaecytisus hirsutus.


This species flies weakly and rarely settles to rest. Wing shape and flight style make the Leptidea spp. easy to notice on the wing. They are also undertake unusual courstship, where the male uses his proboscis to engage the female in mating. 

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Wood White submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 27/02/2023 24/11/2023 270 days
2022 26/03/2022 04/11/2022 223 days
2021 27/02/2021 18/10/2021 233 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 717
2022 320
2021 119
Grand Total 1156

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Wood White (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Wood White (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month since 1st January 2021


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Wood White
  • Family: Pieridae (Swainson, 1820)
  • Sub-family: Dismorphiinae (Schatz , 1887)
  • Tribe: Luehdorfiini (Chapman, 1895)
  • Genus: Leptidea (Billberg, 1820)
  • Species: sinapis (Linnaeus, 1758)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.