Great white butterfly caterpillars on honesty plant
The great white butterfly (Pieris brassicae) poses a major economic and environmental threat. This introduced pest is a threat to commercial and home brassica crops, and to native cresses.
It was first found in New Zealand in a Nelson city garden in 2010 and has since been spreading in Nelson Tasman.
DOC is leading a multi-agency attempt to eradicate the great white butterfly to stop it becoming a major pest in New Zealand. The help of Nelson Tasman residents is vital to achieving eradication, including in looking for and reporting great white butterfly caterpillars and eggs.
The great white butterfly has been declared an unwanted organism in New Zealand under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Great white butterfly factsheet (PDF, 559K)
Learn how to identify the great white butterfly, particularly its caterpillars and eggs, and how it is different to the small white butterfly.
The great white butterfly could become a serious pest in New Zealand if its spread is not stopped.
DOC is leading a multi-agency attempt to eradicate the great white butterfly in Nelson Tasman to try to clear New Zealand of the pest.
Nelson Tasman residents are asked to look for great white butterfly caterpillars and eggs and report any found to the Ministry for Primary Industries hotline 0800 80 99 66.
View photos to help you identify great white butterfly caterpillars, eggs and pupae.
CITES endangered species
DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:
0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.