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Cabbage butterflies, a genus of diurnal butterflies of the family Pieridae. Wingspan, up to 6 cm. The wings are red, orange, yellow, or greenish, often with a black rim on the outer side. Sexual dimorphism or polymorphism is expressed in Colias: the wings of females are paler in color than in males (usually greenish or white), and in some species there are two types of females—for example, in C. aurora, they are red or green.
Cabbage butterflies are distributed in the northern hemisphere; they inhabit chiefly high mountains and the arctic zone. Only a few species are found in plains:C. palaeno is typical of the marshes of the forest zones of Europe and Asia; C. hyale, C. erate, and C. chrysotheme are native to the steppe zone. Some are minor agricultural pests—for example C. hyale and C. erate damage alfalfa, peas, and clover in Middle Asia.