Neptis praslini (Boisduval, 1832)
Black and White Aeroplane
(previously known as Limenitis praslini)
LIMENITIDINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Neptis praslini
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

This Caterpillar is light and dark green with long white spiky tentacles along the back. The head is green and has two horns. The caterpillar has been found feeding on a variety of plants, including :

  • Erycibe coccinea ( CONVOLVULACEAE ), and
  • Phylacium bracteosum ( FABACEAE ).

    When not feeding, the caterpillar rests on the underside of a leaf. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 2.5 cms.

    The pupa is silver-cream with black markings. It is suspended by a cremaster from a food plant, and has a length of about 1.5 cms.

    The wings of the adult butterflies are black, with a number of white spots, and a large white patch on each hind wing.

    Neptis praslini
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The undersides are similar to the upper surfaces. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 5 cms.

    The eggs are green and spherical with a diameter of about 1 mm. They are laid singly on the undersides of leaves of food plants.

    The species is found as a dozen subspecies across

  • Indonesia, and
  • Papua New Guinea,

    and subspecies staudingereana de NicÚville, 1898, is found in the tropical north of Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
    Faune Entomologique de L'Ocean Pacifique,
    M. J. Dumont d'Urville:
    Voyage de Decouvertes de la Corvette l'Astrolabe,
    Division 7, Part 1 : Lepidopteres (1832), pp. 131-132, No. 2.

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 556-557.

    G.A. Wood,
    The life history of Neptis praslini straudingereana de Niceville (Lepidoptera:Nymphalidae:Nymphalinae),
    Australian Entomological Magazine,
    Volume 14 (1987), p. 3.


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    (updated 27 April 2010, 11 December 2013, 20 July 2014)