- Subfamily: Pierinae - Pierini
- Wingspan: 50-65 mm
- Flight period: Apr - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Asteraceae - Brassicaceae - Tropaeolaceae
The Pieris brassicae also known as Large White is a large butterfly of the Pieridae family with a wingspan of 50-65 mm.
It is distributed throughout Europe, Iceland included, in Italy it is also present in the Islands. *
Like many belonging to the genus Pieris, the Pieris brassicae has the background color of the upper page of the wings of a pure white color. The sexual dimorphism is evidenced by the presence in the females of two roundish dark spots completely absent in the males. The apical area is dark in both sexes, present on the upper part of the anterior wing, it is more elongated than in Pieris rapae (Cavolaia minor), reaching at least the III vein. The underside of the wings, in both sexes, may have greenish or gray shades. **
In Italy it is present everywhere, from the basal to the mountain level, more recently it has undergone a decline, so much so that it is rare in some regions. Flying fast, it makes frequent stops on the flowers, and it can be found in grassland environments also in cultivated environments, in particular alfalfa and flower gardens. Polivoltina flickers from April to November and usually winters in the pupal state.
The pupae are succinct and are found all year round on palisades or any vertical support, sometimes even in gardens. The pale green larvae are richly dotted with black spots, with yellow bands along the back and sides.
The caterpillar feeds on various species, cultivated and not of the Brassicaceae family (Cruciferae), both wild and cultivated, but also on Asteraceae, such as Aster sedifolius, and on Tropaeolaceae, such as Tropaeolum sp.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/