Cabbage White Butterfly Welcome Visitor to Lacovia
A white flurry surrounds you and covers the plants and gardens in a white blanket.
Christmas in the Caribbean? Snow in June on Grand Cayman?
While it definitely looks like snow, the “flurry” isn’t cold and doesn’t contain ice crystals at all. It’s actually a swarm of butterflies laying their eggs on Grand Cayman Island.
This Grand Cayman local butterfly is called the Great Southern White, and it can be found from the Atlantic and Gulf Coast as far as South America and the West Indies. While there are a number of subspecies of this type of butterfly, there is only one that is found on all three Cayman islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. It is also known as the Cabbage White Butterfly because its caterpillars are known to feed on cabbage and radish plants.
The rainy season in the Caymans begins about June 1st and continues until November. During this time the Great Southern White will mate. They will swarm and lay hundreds of eggs on the underside of various host plants upon which the caterpillars will later feed. The surface of the male’s wing is white with a black triangle shaped marking along the edge. The females are more of a creamy colour, also with black markings. Their wingspan is 6.3 to 8.6 millimetres which translates to about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch. So, when these butterflies gather in the thousands, it’s an impressive sight. It’s easy to understand why any observer might mistake the sight of a cloud of Great Southern White butterflies for snowfall.
The highest density of these butterflies is on Grand Cayman where you’ll see them flying along the edges of the roads and along hedges, in gardens or in park areas. One choice viewing spot is at Butterfly Central, a butterfly habitat located on the Blue Hole Nature Trail at Cayman Turtle Farm. Located on North West Point Road, it is about a 13 minute drive from Lacovia. Here you can experience an up-close encounter with these and other fascinating butterflies. The Cabbage White butterflies visit the gardens atLacovia Condos on Seven Mile Beach and are a welcomed visitor.
If you happen to notice an unusual flurry in the Grand Cayman sky, take a break from the midday sun and look at a little closer. Sometimes Mother Nature can fly into your world and surprise you. Say hello to the Great Southern White Butterfly, one of Grand Cayman’s natural wonders.