Large White (Pieris brassicae [Linnaeus])
Wing span: 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 inches (6-7 cm).
Identification: Like a very large version of the Cabbage White.
Life history: Females lay masses of yellow eggs on undersides of host leaves. Caterpillar is gray-green green with black smudges ands short white hairs. Chrysalis is gray green with small yellow and black marks.
Flight: Two to three flights in Europe from April to October.
Caterpillar hosts: Cabbages, Brussel-sprouts, nasturtium.
Adult food: Flower nectar from a very wide array of plants including thistles and butterfly bush.
Habitat: Almost any type of open space especially vegetable gardens, roadsides, cities, and suburbs.
Range: Common native in temperate Eurasia. Rare stray or escape in North America.
Conservation: Not required.
Management needs: None needed for rare stray.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally.
Higgins, L.G. and N.D. Riley. 1970. A field guide to the butterflies of Britain and Europe. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.369 pages. Thomas, J.A., 1992. Butterflies of the British Isles. Hamlyn Press, London. 160 pp.
Author: Paul A. Opler
State and Regional References:
Cech, R. 1993. A Distributional Checklist of the Butterflies and Skippers of the New York City Area (50-mile Radius) and Long Island. New York City Butterfly Club Special Publication. 27 pp. Forbes, W.T.M. 1960. Lepidoptera of New York and Neighboring States. Part IV: Agaristidae through Nymphalidae Including Butterflies. Cornell Univ. Agricultural Experimental Station, Ithaca, N.Y. Memoir 371. 188 pp. Glassberg, J. 1993. Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, N.Y. 160 pp. Klass, C. and Dirig, R. 1992. Learning about Butterflies. Cornell Cooperative Extension Publication, 4-H Member/Leader Guide 139-M-9. Ithaca, N.Y. 36 pp. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Shapiro, A.M. 1974. Butterflies and Skippers of New York State. Cornell Univ. Agricultural Experimental Station, Ithaca, N.Y. Search 4:1-60.