The Large White Butterfly (Pieris brassicae) is a small insect in the Pieridae family of white and yellow butterflies. It is also known as the Large Cabbage White. It is a close relative of the Small White Butterfly (Pieris rapae).
The Large White Butterfly is white with distinct dark-black tips on its forewings (front wings). The female has two large black spots in the middle of its forewings. The male has no black dots. Its upperside is creamy-white, and its underside is pale-greenish. Its body is black.
It grows to about 5-7 centimetres (2-3 inches) across its wings.
The Large White Butterfly is common throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is generally seen from April to August.
It prefers open areas with lots of plants.
It is diurnal, active during the day.
The female lays eggs on plants in the cabbage family. She lays them singly on the leaf of the plant. A caterpillar (larvae) emerges from the egg after about 7 days and begins eating the leaves of the plant. It pupates into a chrysalis, and undergoes metamorphosis until the adult butterfly emerges.
The adult butterfly sips nectar from flowers. It prefers purple, blue, and yellow flowers. It has a proboscis—like a long nose—which it uses to suck up the nectar from flowers.
Its main predator are birds.
The Large White Butterfly lives for about 21 days.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM