A large, strong flying butterfly. The brilliant white wings have black tips to the forewings, extending down the wing edge. Females have two spots on the forewings, which is not present in males. The undersides are a creamy white with two spots.

Size and Family

  • Family: Whites and yellows
  • Size: Large 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female):  63-70mm

Conservation Status

  • Butterfly Conservation priority: Low
  • European status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplants

The larvae feed on wild or cultivated species of the Cruciferae family, with a strong preference for cultivated varieties of Brassica oleracea, such as Cabbage and Brussel-sprouts and varieties of B. napus such as Oil-seed Rape. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) and Wild Mignonette (Reseda lutea) are also used, as is Sea-Kale (Crambe maritima) along the coast.

Lifecycle

Habitat

This common butterfly is found in a variety of habitats, particularly gardens and allotments where cabbages are grown.

Distribution

  • Countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
  • Widespread throughout Britain and Ireland
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = -7%

Large White (male/upperwing) - Dean Morley

Large White (male/upperwing)

Large White (female/upperwing) - Steve Maskell

Large White (female/upperwing)

Large White (underwing) by Matt Berry

Large White (underwing)

Large White - Andrew Cooper

Large White (underwing)

Large White (underwing) - John Murray

Large White (underwing)

Large White (mating pair) - Mark Pike

Large White (mating pair)

Large White (eggs) by Dean Morley

Large White (eggs)

Large White (young caterpillars) by Dean Morley

Large White (young caterpillars)

Large White (caterpillar) by Dean Morley

Large White (caterpillar)

Large White (caterpillar) - Dean Morley

Large White (caterpillar)

Large White (parasitised caterpillar) - Derek Parker

Large White (parasitised caterpillar)

Large White (pupa) by Peter Eeles

Large White (pupa)