Scarlet or Northern Jezabel
PIERINAE, PIERIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy Brett Howton, Narangba, Queensland)
This 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 eggs are yellow and barrel-shaped, each with a height of about 1 mm. They are laid in an open array of 20 to 50 on the leaf of a food plant.
The species is found in
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.
Life History and Notes on the Scarlet Jezebel, Delia argenthona (Fabricius, 1793) Lepidoptera: Pieridae,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
Issue99, December 2020, pp. 19-23.
Frank Jordan & Helen Schwencke,
Create More Butterflies : a guide to 48 butterflies and their host-plants
Earthling Enterprises, Brisbane, 2005, pp. 39, 59.
(updated 18 February 2010, 30 April 2016, 22 March 2019, 22 January 2021)