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Life Science: Brassica & Butterfly System

The Salad Bar

Salad Bar

Are Pieris larvae picky eaters? Find out by providing them with their very own salad bar.

Materials Needed

  • Three plastic plates
  • Six leaves for feeding trials*
  • Three Pieris larvae from the Brassica Barn

* Select from members of the Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, turnips, pak choi, kale, mustard greens, etc.) and non-Brassicas (lettuce, beet leaves, celery leaves, carrot leaves, spinach, etc.).


  • Make three dime-sized portions from each leaf. You can also use a hole punch to make more precise portions.
  • Place one portion from each leaf in a circular pattern near the outside of one plate. Repeat this for the two remaining plates.
  • Gently remove three Pieris larvae from the Brassica Barn, and place one in the center of each dish. You can use more larvae if you wish.
  • Observe and describe what happens. Record results at 2 hours, 4 hours, and 24 hours.

Activity Questions

  • How did the larva(e) behave when introduced into the container?
  • Which plants did the larvae eat?
  • Compare how much was eaten from each leaf.
  • What can you conclude about the feeding preferences of Pieris larvae?

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