“You ask what is the use of butterflies. I reply, to adorn the world and delight the eyes of men: to brighten the countryside like so many golden jewels”
17th Century naturalist – John Ray
To identify small white and large white you will need to see the wing tips on the upper side of the forewing. A butterfly with extensive black marks at the wing tips, with black colour continuing a long way along the outer edge of the wing is a large white. A butterfly with less extensive grey or black marks at the wing tips, with colouration only extending slightly along the outer edge of the wing is a small white. The number of spots or even the size can be misleading.
Small whites are attracted to white flowers, but I think this is a female Large Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris brassicae), males do not have spots. I love the way his/her legs are dusted in the white pollen from the Scabious flower.
And how deeply it sticks its proboscis into this beautiful silky flower. Many people, especially those with allotments, regard this butterfly as a pest as it lays its eggs on brassica plants which the emerging caterpillars feed on. The ones in my garden lay their eggs on the Nasturtiums and eat those leaves which I don’t mind. And I haven’t planted any kale this year.