On 26th July last year I saw a female Small White laying eggs on some Bittercress outside my study window. As this was in the hen run I went out and lunchtime and dug up the three small plants and put them in a pot.
It circled the garden a couple of times and then landed in an ornamental maple tree. Almost immediately heavy drizzle started to fall and it continued to drizzle for the rest of the day and the following morning. Later that day I found it still in the same spot and it flew off mid-afternoon. So, it spent the first three days of its life waiting for suitable weather to fly!
What I find really interesting is that of the nine chrysalises I had, seven emerged, but the other two remained in the pupal state. I hadn’t been expecting any of them to emerge, as we would normally only expect to have two generations of Small Whites a year here. The seven chrysalises that eclosed formed a third generation of the year.
Fast forward to spring this year and I kept an eye on the two remaining chrysalises. On 3rd May I noticed that they had started to show the colour of the wings. Two days later I spotted a male Small White sitting by its empty chrysalis case. The following day a female Small White emerged from the second chrysalis.