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Large White / Cabbage Butterfly / Cabbage White. Pieris brassicae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diputación de Málaga

Large White / Cabbage Butterfly / Cabbage White. Pieris brassicae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan: From 4.9 to 6.3 cm.

Routes where it can be observed


Open wings: They are white with two big spots on the forewings in the case of female butterflies. The apex is black in the shape of an arch and it stretches to the anal angle.

Closed wings: The apex at the forewings is the same as on the inner part of the wings, although it is pale yellow. This species hindwings are also pale yellow, with black scales scattered over them, and two black spots that cannot always be seen.

Similar species

Large or Cabbage White is the biggest 'white' butterfly. However, there are butterflies which are smaller and they can be confused with other species.

Small White or Small Cabbage White: The apex at the forewings is grey and not so close to the outer margin.

Southern Small White: It has a buckled black apex, which is ached at the end, and goes down to the outer margin.

Green-veined White: Whenever the wings are open or closed, it is rather peculiar due to its veins surrounded by dark-scales. Moreover, when the wings are stretched, the spot on the apex is buckled and the wings spots have scales which outline the veins up to the outer boarder

Biology and Habitat

This species flies throughout the year, above all, from the end of winter to the middle of spring, and then again in autumn and the beginning of winter, which depends on how rainy the weather is. These butterflies can be found in all kinds of habitats, especially in villages, gardens, fields, and even in small towns and cities. They are less common in the mountains. Caterpillars feed on 60 different wild and cultivated cruciferous plants, such as Diplotaxis virgata, Diplotaxis erucoides and Cardaria draba.

Distribution in the Great Path

This is one of the most common butterflies in Málaga, which can be found at every stage of the GMP: It is less common on the coast, in the north of the province and in the mountains.