A familiar species of countryside and gardens
Large white: eat your greensPost date: Tuesday, 20 May, 2014 - 00:00
Large White in Dorset: what your tweets tell us ...Post date: Friday, 12 April, 2019 - 21:21
The large white is one of the most common white butterflies here in Dorset and can generally be seen in good numbers although occasionally an influx of immigrants can mean numbers reach very high levels indeed. Infamous for its caterpillars devouring cabbages, large whites can be seen in gardens, downland and woodland in open countryside and in the middle of towns; it can be seen almost anywhere! The first brood appear in late April and then there is a short gap in late June until the second brood emerge and they can be seen through until the end of September or even longer depending on weather conditions.
Despite being common there are only 24 records in the Nature of Dorset database for 2017 and 2018 combined. I think this is partly due to the low number of observers that report butterflies and also because it is common and sometimes though not worthy of a mention. What reports there are show a single sighting in week 10 in early March and one wonders whether this is an accurate record or whether it could have been a female brimstone? Reports start in earnest in week 18 to week 20 in May. There is then a gap until week 25 in early July and reports continue in to late September and early October. Indeed, October has produced the most records over the two years and this must surely reflect the late inward migration in these years?
The distribution maps shows just how widely spread the large white is with records from all over the county but there is a strong band of sites along the coast that have reported them and that, too, may reflect the inward migration.
|Common Name||Large White|
|Scientific Name||Pieris brassicae|
|Species Group||Pierid Butterflies Whites|
|Additional Identification Notes|