by Leslie Cox; November 8, 2017

Brought a large handful of assorted kale leaves inside recently…before the snow came down…to make a kale salad for dinner. From force of habit, I checked each leaf as I tore them into bite-size pieces to be washed. Guess what I found.

Pieris rapae larva on Kale 'Lacinato'Did you think cabbageworm? You would be right, although I was surprised to see it this late into the season. Typically, cabbageworms overwinter in the pupa stage as a chrysalis. And with overnight temperatures dipping to -1 °C (30.2 °F) and -2 °C (28.4 °F), the cabbageworm should have been hibernating.

Mind you…our weather through the latter part of October had been unseasonably warm so perhaps the cabbageworm got fooled, as we were, by the sudden change in temperatures.

At any rate, if you would like to learn more about the small cabbage white butterfly and its larval stage, look in the drop box for Insects We Have Found under In the Garden on the main menu bar. (Quick link here.)