PIERINAE, PIERIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
This Caterpillar starts life as one of an array of yellow barrel-shaped eggs laid on the leaf of a food plantj each with a height of about 1 mm.
The Caterpillar may be one of several shades of colour: either yellow, brown, green or pink. It has long white hairs growing out of rows of white spots, and a black head and tail. The Caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms.
It lives and feeds communally in a sparse web of silk on various species of Mistletoe ( LORANTHACEAE ) including :
as well as
The pupa has a length of about 2 cms. It is orange or yellow with black spikes, and is attached to a leaf of the food plant.
The adults are white on top, with a black tip to each forewing and a wide black margin to each hindwing, both containing white spots. The wingspan is about 6 cms.
Underneath, the forewings are similar, but the hindwings have a yellow base, then a white band, and have a black outer half containing an arc of red splotches.
The species is found on
and over most of Australia, including
Butterflies of this species may be purchased for release at weddings etc.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 339-340.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta,
Volume 3, Part 1 (1793), p. 200, No. 624.
A new host plant for the Scarlet or Northern Jezebel butterfly (Delias argenthona),
Issue 57 (June 2010), p. 35,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
(updated 18 February 2010, 30 April 2016)