Elodina parthia (Hewitson, 1853)
Chalk White
(previously known as Pieris parthia)
PIERINAE ,   PIERIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Elodina parthia
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

The Caterpillar of this species is green with a white dorsal line, and sometimes some dark red spots. It has a forked tail.

Elodina parthia
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

It feeds on various species of Capers ( Capparis, CAPPARACEAE ) including :

  • Australian Native Pomegranate ( Capparis arborea ),
  • Dog Caper ( Capparis canescens ),
  • Scrambling Caper ( Capparis sarmentosa ), and
  • Capers ( Capparis spinosa ).

    Elodina parthia
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The pupa is also green with white stripes, and has a pointed head. It is attached to a twig or leaf of the foodplant, and has a length of about 1.5 cms.

    Elodina parthia
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The upper surfaces of the wings of the adult butterfly are white with dark brown wingtips. but the undersides are white with a yellow patch by the body. The butterfly has a wingspan of about 3.5 cms.

    Elodina parthia
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The eggs are barrel-shaped, with 13 vertical ribs, and a height of about 1mm. They are initially white, but develop pink markings. The eggs are laid singly, usually on the uppersides of foodplant leaves.

    The species occurs in

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 311-312.

    William Chapman Hewitson,
    Pieris II,
    Illustrations of new species of exotic butterflies,
    London, Volume 1 (1853), p.31,, and also Plate 17, figs. 12-13.

    Wesley Jenkinson,
    Life history notes on the Striated Pearl-white, Elodina parthia (Hewitson, 1853) Lepidoptera,: Pieridae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 62 (September 2011), pp. 10-12,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 1 May 2009, 29 October 2013)