Pieris ergane, Crete - photo © Christodoulos Makris

Pieris ergane, Crete - photo © Christodoulos Makris

Pieris ergane


Pieris ergane is a butterfly of the family Pieridae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Pieris ergane (Geyer, 1828)

Common name

Mountain Small White


Family: Pieridae > Subfamily: Pierinae > Tribus: Pierini > Genus: Pieris


Male to female: 45-50 mm


The general color of the wings is white for both sexes.

On the forewing, on the upper side, the male is black-colored near the apex forming a clear square and has another black mark in the postdiscal area. Females are similar to males but they have an additional black marking in the postdiscal area. The underside has yellow colors near the apex and tiny small marks.

On the hindwing, on the upper side, there is a small black mark, whilst on the underside the wing is grey-yellow colored with green shades in females and yellow-colored in males.

The next generations appear slightly different.


It has a slower flight in comparison with other Pieridae butterflies.


Pieris ergane in Crete flies in warm slopes, dry rocky areas, and sparse scrubland, mountain fields with light vegetation, wet places in the lowland.

Food plant

The larva feeds on Brassicaceae plants.

Flight Period

The butterfly flies in at least 1-2 generations per year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

The butterfly has a unique appearance in Crete and can’t be confused with any other butterflies on the island. The distinctive black square on the upper side of the forewing distinguishes Mountain Small White from Pieris rapae and Pieris brassicae.


Least Concern (LC)

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)

Pieris Ergane Distribution Map

*based on http://www.pamperis.gr/THE_BUTTERFLIES_OF_GREECE/MAPS.html

Pieris ergane location map based on greek butterflies distributions map by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)