Appias paulina (Cramer, 1777)
Common Albatross ,   Christmas Island White
PIERINAE ,   PIERIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Appias paulina
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

The Caterpillar is grey and green with white dorsal stripe, and numerous raised black spots. When resting, it normally lies along the midrib of a foodplant leaf.

The foodplants include:

  • Australian Native Holly ( Alchornea ilicifolia, EUPHORBIACEAE ), and
  • Yellow Tulipwood ( Drypetes deplanchei, EUPHORBIACEAE ).

    Appias paulina
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The pupa is pale yellow with a black spike on the head, and with other black and yellow markings. It is often attached to a leaf.

    Appias paulina
    female
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The female adult butterflies have white forewings with black edges containing white spots, and yellow hindwings with black edges which may contain yellow spots.

    Appias paulina
    male
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The male butterflies are white with black tips to the forewings, which also have two black subapical spots.

    Appias paulina
    female: underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Underneath, the sexes resemble their upper sides, but with a yellow ground colour rather than white.

    Appias paulina
    male: underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Both sexes have a wingspan of about 5 cms.

    Appias paulina
    egg: highly magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The eggs are laid singly, and are green and barrel shaped with ribs.

    Appias paulina
    female
    (Photo: Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, 15 July 2004
    courtesy of Ian McMillan)

    The species occurs from India to Samoa, including :

  • Indonesia,
  • Japan,
  • Malaysia,
  • New Caledonia,
  • SriLanka,
  • Thailand,

    Appias paulina
    female
    (Photo: Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, 15 July 2004
    courtesy of Ian McMillan)

    In Australia: the subspecies ega (Boisduval, 1836) occurs in the north and east, including

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia.

    Appias paulina stamp
    Christmas Island 1987


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 325-326.

    Pieter Cramer,
    Uitlandsche Kapellen,
    Papilions exotiques des trois parties du monde l'Asie, l'Afrique et l'Amérique,
    Volume 2 (1777), p. 21, figs E,F, and also Plate 110, figs. E,F.

    Wesley Jenkinson,
    Life history notes on the Yellow Albatross, Appias paulina ega (Cramer, [1771]) Lepidoptera: Pieridae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 63 (December 2011), pp. 15-18,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 222.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 1 May 2009, 20 September 2013, 28 January 2014)