Large White
Animals, Butterflies, Moths

Scientific name: Pieris brassicae

Common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland.

A large strong flying butterfly. Brilliant white wings with black tips to forewings, extending down wing edge. Females also have two spots on forewings not present in males. Undersides are 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.

England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
Specific name:
Pieris brassicae
Wing Span Range (male to female): 63-70mm
Widespread throughout Britain and Ireland. Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = -7%


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


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