Great white butterfly caterpillars on honesty plant.

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 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)