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 (upperwing) by Peter Eeles

    Large White (upperwing)

    Large White (underwing) by Matt Berry

    Large White (underwing)

    Large White (egg) by Peter Eeles

    Large White (egg)

    Large White (caterpillar) by Jim Asher

    Large White (caterpillar)

    Large White (caterpillar) by Peter Eeles

    Large White (caterpillar)

    Large White (pupa) by Peter Eeles

    Large White (pupa)