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Madeiran Large White

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Title: Madeiran Large White  
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Subject: Pieris (butterfly), List of extinct animals of Europe
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Madeiran Large White

Madeiran large white
Madeiran Large White (female)
Conservation status

Critically endangered, possibly extinct  (IUCN 2.3)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pieridae
Genus: Pieris
Species: P. brassicae
Subspecies: P. b. wollastoni
Trinomial name
Pieris brassicae wollastoni
Butler, 1886

Pieris wollastoni
Pieris cheiranti wollastoni

The Madeiran large white (Pieris brassicae wollastoni) is a subspecies of the Large White, endemic to Madeira.[1] It can reach a size from 55 to 65 millimetres. The wings are pure white with a wide black tip on the apexes of the forewings. Its natural habitat is the laurisilva laurel forest.[2] Considering that it was last collected in 1977 but not found despite a 15 year survey during the 1980s and 1990s it might be either extremely rare or possibly extinct.[3] One reason for its decline might be a virus infection which brought out after the Small White (Pieris rapae) was introduced to Madeira in the 1950s.[4] The Latin name commemorates Thomas Vernon Wollaston, an entomologist who has discovered several insect taxa on Madeira.


  1. ^ John Feltwell: Large white butterfly: The Biology, Biochemistry and Physiology of Pieris Brassicae (Linnaeus). Springer, 1982 ISBN 90-6193-128-2
  2. ^ Pieris brassicae wollastoni
  3. ^ Man drives butterfly into extinction and it could be bad news for us too
  4. ^ Gardiner, B. (2003) The possible cause of extinction of Pieris brassicae wollastoni Butler (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Entomologist's Gazette 54:267–268

Further reading

  • Holt White, A. E. & Rashleigh (editors) (1894): The butterflies and moths of Teneriffe. Illustrated from the author's drawings. L. Reeve & Co., London
  • Gardiner, B. (2003) The possible cause of extinction of Pieris brassicae wollastoni Butler (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Entomologist's Gazette 54:267–268

External links

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