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large white   <>  pieris  brassicae   <>   bánóg mhór

                                                          © Deirdre Hardiman

Habitat:   The "Cabbage White" is widespread but especially seen where there are crucifers and brassica crops. 
There are two broods annually. 

Flight time:   From April to June
                            From July to September

Larval Food Plants:    Brassicas and Crucifers
Hibernation:   Overwinters as a pupa. 

The tip of the forewings are black and the apex greyish in the spring brood.  The hindwings have a single black mark on their upper margins.  The female differs from the male by having two black spots in the middle of each forewing and a black bar along its lower margin, and its hindwings are more yellow than the male.  These markings are more conspicuous in the summer brood with black replacing grey at the wing tips. 
It may be less plentiful than formerly due to a reduction in domestic vegetable growing and the use of pesticides. Numbers are augmented by immigration.



 Female    © DHardiman 2001 Male    © DHardiman 2001


  Life Cycle of  the Large White


The eggs are laid in neat groups of about 40 on the upper or more usually the underside of  the  food  plant.

                   © DHardiman 2001

They are tall and cylindrical/skittle shaped measuring c.1.44 mm high.                  
Initially pale yellow in colour, changing to dark orange.  Hatching takes place in 1-2 weeks depending on the

Large White ovum


The fully grown larva is c.45mm long with mottled dark green, black and yellow markings.
It has broad dorsal and lateral yellow stripes,  orange spiracles and short white setae.
The larvae live and feed together and may be seen from May until late in the year. This larval stage takes approximately 4 weeks.

  Early instar  © DHardiman 2006  


 © DHardiman 2001


Pupation may occur a considerable distance from the food plant,  on tree trunks, fences, walls, ledges etc. 
The first generation pupae produce butterflies in c.2 weeks while the later generation pupae

overwinter in this pupal state.

   © DHardiman 2006

The adult emerges from the end of April onwards. 

© DHardiman 



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 WoodWhite ] Brimstone ] [ LargeWhite ] SmallWhite ] Green-veinedWhite ] OrangeTip ] 

Hesperidae ] Pieridae ] Lycaenidae ] Nymphalidae ] Satyridae ] Migrants ] .