Ascia monuste

Great Southern White

Basic Information

General information

Family: Pieridae
Sub Family: Pierinae
Estimated Lifespan 14 Days

Garden Specific Information

Estimated Number In Flight: 0
Total Number of Pupae Received: 3727
First Flown On: 11/21/02
Last Flown On: 07/23/19

Species Range:

  • NorthAmerica
  • SouthAmerica

Host plants:

  • The larvae are known to feed on a wide variety of plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) and the caper family (Capparidaceae).

Food Source

Adults are known to feed from a variety of flowers such as verbena and lantana. Males are also known to puddle.

Etymology Of Name

The genus Ascia is Latin for carpenter’s adze or ax. The origin of the specie monuste is currently unknown


The Great Southern White is most commonly found in coastal dunes, salt marshes, and open fields. They will also visit gardens in the surrounding areas.

Life history

Males patrol for females. After mating the female lays her eggs on the upper surface of the host leaves in clusters as large as 60. The larvae devour just about every part of the host plant including stems and seedpods.


There are multiple generations each year so it is possible to find adults year round within their range.

Fun Facts

On occasion the Great Southern Whites in certain regions are known to make impressive emigrations into areas which are not considered to be a good habitat. It is believed they make this migration due to population explosions and the limited amount of host plant available.