Grass-yellow butterflies on tropical rainforest floor

Sulphurs and whites

Sulphur and white butterflies do not have the bright colours and bold patterns of some other butterfly families. Their wings can still be beautiful white, yellow and orange colours, often with black spots. It is a large butterfly family with over one thousand species that are mainly found in Africa and Asia.

This group includes a few of the UK’s more common butterflies including the early emerging brimstone and the large and small cabbage whites; the latter two are notorious agricultural pests of cabbages and other brassicas. More exotically named species include California’s state insect, the California dogface, and Asia’s psyche butterfly.

Scientific name: Pieridae

Rank: Family


The Sulphurs and whites can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Europe. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Explore this group


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web