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Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire - Branch Logo featuring the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.Butterfly Conservation.

Butterflies - Wood White (Leptidea sinapis)

The Wood White is the most delicate of our white butterflies... indeed, anyone who has witnessed its lumbering, weak flight may question how the species ever managed to survive in the modern world!

The males will fly continuously in fine weather searching for a female while the females tend to spend their time feeding on flowers or resting.

Females are all white except for a dusting of grey scales and forewings which are more rounded than the males. The longer, more pointed forewings of the males have a dark grey patch on the upperside. See photograph below.

All Irish Wood Whites formerly considered to be Réal’s Wood White Leptidea reali have now been ascribed to a newly described species known as the the Cryptic Wood White Leptidea juvernica following recent genetic studies. Réal’s Wood White now appears to be confined to southern Europe only. In mainland Britain, the Wood White remains as Leptidea sinapis

  • Larval Food Plants
  • Habitat
  • Status
  • Key Sites
  • Links
  • Photographs

Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis)
Bitter-vetch (Lathyrus linifolius)
Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca)
Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus)

The Wood White is usually found in sheltered woodland rides and clearings.

Resident in Warwickshire.

Ryton Wood (WWT Reserve)

Find out more about the Wood White online at the following links;

Flight Chart
The flight chart below is based on observations of the adult Wood White butterfly in Warwickshire between 2005 and 2008. Peak periods are shown in dark green.

Wood White Flight Chart

Distribution Maps

Wood White - 2011 records / distribution. Wood White - 2010 records / distribution. Wood White - 2000 to 2009 records / distribution.
2011 (1yr) 2010 (1yr) 2000-09 (10yr)

Wood WhiteWood White © Steven Cheshire - Female at Ryton Wood, Warwickshire

Annual First Sightings
First sighting dates are based on records of Wood White submitted online. Please note that these dates are not updated retrospectively to include records submitted to the branch recorder in other forms.

19/05/2018 Ryton Wood

21/05/2017 Ryton Wood Meadows

20/05/2016 Ryton Wood

03/06/2015 Ryton Wood

16/05/2014 Ryton Wood

14/06/2013 Ryton Wood

22/07/2012 Ryton Wood

30/04/2011 Ryton Wood

20/05/2010 Ryton Woods

23/05/2009 Ryton Wood

06/06/2008 Ryton Wood


Other Species

Please select an alternative species from the list below.