Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
a family of insects of the suborder Heteroptera (Frenatae). They are diurnal butterflies. The wing spread is up to 8 cm. Most of the Pieridae species of moderate width are characterized by white or yellow coloring with black tracery. There are more than 500 species altogether; in the USSR there are approximately 80 species. Individual genera of Pieridae are generally associated with specific plant families: for example, the pierids (Pieris) with crucifers, and the sulfur butterfly (Colias) with legumes. Some members of the Pieridae family are harmful to agricultural crops and trees; these include the caterpillars of the cabbage butterfly, the Russian turnip butterfly, and the turnip butterfly, which sometimes devastate fields of cabbage, turnips, and other plants, and the caterpillar of the blackveined white butterfly, which harms seed-fruit and stone-fruit crops. Harmful Pieridae are exterminated by mechanical means (such as destroying the “winter nests” containing the blackveined white butterfly caterpillars) or by chemical means (such as sprinkling or dusting with intestinal-acting or contact insecticides).