This Large White butterfly was one of several in the gardens of Coleton Fishacre house, near Dartmouth in Devon. The house – owned by the National Trust – was closed because of Covid-19, but the garden, grounds and paths to the South West Coast Path were open and there was plenty to be enjoyed.
Watching these very large Large Whites I was amazed to see how much bigger they were than the Large Whites in our garden in Cheshire. These were huge, like a species of superbutterfly! Maybe something to do with the habitat, the soil, or just that it’s often warmer and sunnier in Devon.
According to The Butterflies of Britain & Ireland there can be up to three broods, spanning April to autumn. The second brood flies from July to September, and are often more heavily marked with black and grey than the earlier spring brood. This one is clearly from the second emergence.
Their caterpillars are poisonous enough to deter predators, and even though gardeners might not like what are commonly called “cabbage whites”, they’re welcome in our garden. We don’t grow brassicas and we encourage wildlife.