How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Seasonal development and life cycle—Imported cabbageworm

Adult cabbage butterflies lay eggs singly on leaves. Eggs are pale yellow to orange and are shaped like a football standing on its end. Older larvae may be up to an inch long. Compared with other caterpillars, cabbageworms move slowly and are sluggish but they feed voraciously on both the outer and inner leaves, often feeding along the midrib, at the base of the wrapper leaves, or boring into the heads of cabbage. After 2 to 3 weeks of feeding, larvae pupate attached by a few strands of silk to stems or other nearby objects. Pupae are green with faint yellow lines down the back and sides; there is no spun cocoon. The cabbageworm is active throughout the year in California.

Egg
Egg

Larva
Larva

Adult
Adult

Pupae
Pupae


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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