Appias ada (Stoll, [1781])
Rare Albatross
(one synonym : Tachyris leucosticta Butler, 1898)
PIERINAE ,   PIERIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

The Caterpillar of this species is bluish-green and covered in small blue tubercles. It has a yellow line along the back. It grows to a length of about 3.5 cms. It feeds only on young shoots of:

  • Temple Plant ( Crataeva religiosa, CAPPARACEAE ),

    and does not survive if only given older leaves.

    Appias ada
    Female
    (Specimen: courtesy of The Australian Museum)

    The adult butterflies of this species have a wingspan of about 5 cms. The upper surfaces of the forewings are white, each with a black costa and black spots along the margins. The hindwings are pale yellow with black margins.

    Appias ada
    Male
    (Specimen: courtesy of The Australian Museum)

    The males have a white spot in the black area near the apex.

    Appias ada
    Male underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of The Australian Museum)

    The undersides of the males and females are very similar. The undersides forewings are white with a black costa. The undersides of the hindwings are yellow with a broad black edge.

    The eggs are laid singly on young shoots of a foodplant. They are spindle shaped, and initially white but changing to orange as they near hatching. They have a height of about 0.1 cm.

    The species occurs as several subspecies on

  • New Guinea and adjacent islands,

    and as the subspecies caria Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, in Australia in

  • Queensland on Cape York.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, p. 329.

    Caspar Stoll,
    Papillons exotiques,
    in Pieter Cramer:
    De uitlandsche kapellen, voorkomende in de drie waereld,
    Volume 4 (1781), p. 142, figs. C,D, and also Plate 363, figs C,D.

    G.A. Wood,
    The life history of Appias ada caria Waterhouse and Lyell (Lepidoptera:Pieridae:Pierinae),
    Australian Entomological Magazine,
    Volume 13 (1987), pp. 5-6.


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    (updated 1 May 2009, 19 March 2015)