Cepora perimale (Donovan, 1805)
Australian Gull
PIERINAE ,   PIERIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Cepora perimale
(Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

The Caterpillar of this species is green with yellow dots and white hairs. When resting, it often lies along a midrib of a foodplant leaf. It feeds on fresh young leaves and shoots of various species of Capparis, CAPPARACEAE, including:

  • Wild Caper ( Capparis canescens ),
  • Native Orange ( Capparis mitchellii ), and
  • Wild Orange ( Capparis sepiaria ).

    Cepora perimale
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett)

    The adult butterflies are white with broad black margins containing white spots. The wings tend to grey at the bases.

    Cepora perimale
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett)

    The undersides have a similar pattern to the upper surfaces, except the base colour is yellow or even brown in the dry season form. The wingspan is about 4 cms.

    Cepora perimale
    (Photo: courtesy of Wes Jenkinson)

    The eggs are cream coloured, and spindle shaped with ribs. They are often laid singly on young shoots of a foodplant.

    This species occurs as various races across south-east Asia and the south-west Pacific, including

  • Fiji,
  • Pakistan, and
  • Papua New Guinea.

    The subpecies scyllara (Macleay, 1826) occurs in Australia, including

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.

    Cepora perimale

    (Courtesy of Kraft Australia)

    Cepora perimale
    Norfolk Island 1976


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 323-324.

    Edward Donovan,
    An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans.
    London, 1805, pp. 96-97.

    Wesley Jenkinson,
    Life history notes on the Caper Gull, Cepora perimale scyllara (Donovan, 1805) Lepidoptera: Pieridae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 70 (September 2013), pp. 21-23,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 1 January 2012, 28 January 2014, 15 March 2015)