British Wildlife Wiki

The Cryptic Wood White (Leptidiea juvernica) is a species of butterfly in the Pieridae family.


The newest species to be added to the British list, the Cryptic Wood White was originally believed to be Wood White, but in 2001, lepidopterists discovered that in the Pyraneese, there were to species of Wood White, the Wood White (L. sinapis), and the Real's Wood White (L. reali). Only reliably confirmed through dissection of the adults, specimens from Ireland were dissected and believed to be Real's Wood White, making the Real's Wood WHite the newest species for Britain, only found in Ireland, where it was more common and widespread than the Wood White.

Then, in 2011, DNA was collected from a range of specimens throughout Europe, and another species was discovered, Leptidiea juvernica, which the Irish specimens were. This 'new' species is found in Ireland, and in Europe, from France to Kazakhstan.


Very similar to the Wood White, which it can only be reliably distinguished by dissection, and it's courtship, where the males will wave their antennae and hold the proboscis out, while the females will flick their wings. In the Wood White, the males will flick their wings. This species is cream white, with a black marking on the forewing. The Real's Wood White can only be seperated by DNA testing.