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Imported Cabbageworm, Pieris rapae

Imported Cabbageworm

Imported Cabbageworm, Pieris rapae
Terasa Lott, ©2020 Clemson Extension


Velvety, green to bluish-green caterpillar with a narrow yellow dorsal line and a broken yellow line or spots running down each side.

Life cycle:

  • Complete life cycle: 3-6 weeks, depending on weather
  • Overwinters as chrysalis (pupal stage)

Young caterpillars readily feed on the foliage of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts. Older caterpillars are common pests in the heads of cabbage or the developing flower of broccoli and cauliflower.


  • Plant crops as early as the season will allow. Remove late season plants as pest populations may become unmanageable.
  • Scout plants often and handpick caterpillars from plants.

For more information on managing this pest on Brassica crops, see:

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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