These are the only shots I got of Canary large white during a
week on La Palma in 2001. The butterflies were highly mobile, stopping
briefly and flying before close approach was possible. The first
picture, I think, was taken with a very primitive digital camera and
the four below were extracted from video frames. I need to return to
the Canaries for better pictures of this and other endemic butterflies.
Though obviously closely related to the large white, this is
uncontroversially a good species. Apart from the obvious differences in
adult appearance - notably the female, with her conjoined discal spots
- there are biochemical differences, structural differences in the egg,
ecological differences and behavioural differences (large white is
strongly migratory while this species is sedentary). In addition, being
restricted to a subtropical environment, the Canary large white has no
diapause stage (the large white hibernates as a pupa).
The species flies on La Palma, Tenerife and possibly Gran Canaria. It
is reportedly extinct on Gomera. It also flies in Madeira - ssp. Wollastoni.