Large white

Large white, butterfly with a wingspan of about 65 mm.

Also known as:
Cabbage butterfly
Cabbage white

recognize Large White
Large White, photo: S Sepp - CC BY-SA 3.0
recognize caterpillar Large White
Caterpillars Large White, photo: Rasbak - CC BY-SA 3.0

Large White (Pieris brassicae), butterfly with a wingspan of ± 65 mm, belonging to the large family of Pieridae. The caterpillars eat the leaves of cruciferous plants, including edible brassicas.
It is a close relative of the Small White (Pieris rapae). The large white is common in Europe, North Africa and Asia. The butterfly lays its eggs on the underside of leaves of cruciferous plants. After fourteen days, the caterpillars hatch.

recognize eggs Large White
Caterpillars and eggs Large White on the underside of a cauliflower leaf, photo: Luc Claes

Where to find


Remove the caterpillars.


Insect netting prevents the butterfly from laying eggs on the crop. Keep host plants such as honesty and shepherd’s purse away. Check regularly for caterpillars and catch them. Dip cabbages in water after harvest to detect hidden caterpillars.
Place an insect house for parasitic wasps; the parasitic wasp is one of the natural enemies of Great White caterpillars.