Delias mysis (Fabricius, 1775)
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PIERINAE ,   PIERIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

The Caterpillar of this species is yellowish-green with long white hairs, and has a black head and tail. It feeds gregariously on various Mistletoes ( LORANTHACEAE ) including :

  • Long Flowered Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe vitellina ),
  • Curved Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe curvata ), and
  • Bald Mistletoe ( Dendrophthoe glabrescens ).

    It also pupates gregariously. The pupa is yellow with six black points and has a length of about 2.5 cms.

    Delias mysis
    male

    Delias mysis
    Female
    (Specimens: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The upper surfaces of the wings of the adult butterfly are white with a black band around the edge, and some white spots near the wingtip. The black margin is rather wider in the female.

    Delias mysis
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The undersides of the forewings are the same as above, but the undersides of the hindwings are white suffusing to yellow at the base, and they have a broad black border containing a red submarginal band. The butterfly has a wingspan of about 6 cms.

    It is found as several subspecies in

  • New Guinea,

    and in Australia as two subspecies :

  • aestiva Butler, 1897, in the north of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and
  • mysis in tropical Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 337-339.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 475, No. 138.


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    (updated 30 December 2009, 22 November 2013, 28 June 2015)