Catopsilia pomona (Fabricius, 1775)
Lemon Migrant
(one synonym : Colias jugurthina Godart, 1819)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Catopsilia pomona
(Specimen: courtesy of the Butterfly House, Coffs Harbour)

The Caterpillar is green with a dark dorsal stripe, and has a pale green head with black dots. The foodplants of this Caterpillar are various species in the family CAESALPINIACEAE :

  • Brewster's Cassia ( Cassia brewsteri ),
  • Pink Lady ( Cassia javanica ),
  • Velvet Myrtle ( Cassia tomentella ),
  • Stick Senna ( Senna alata ),
  • Jewelled Cassia ( Senna coronilloides ),
  • Weedy Cassia ( Senna magnifolia ),
  • Brush Senna ( Senna marksiana ),
  • Scented Senna ( Senna odorata ),
  • Chocolate Bush ( Senna pleurocarpa ),
  • Queensland Cassia ( Senna queenslandica ), and
  • Candlestick Cassia ( Senna venusta ).

    as well as the exotics :

  • Popcorn Cassia ( Cassia didymobotrya ),
  • Pudding Pie Tree ( Cassia fistula ), and
  • Kassod Tree ( Senna siamea ).

    The Caterpillar usually rests lying along the midrib of a leaf, making it very difficult to see. The pupa is also hard to see, as it closely resembles a leaf. It is green with a pointed head, and often attached upright to a stem of the foodplant by cremaster and girdle.

    Catopsilia pomona
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Butterfly House, Coffs Harbour)

    The adults have a wingspan up to 6 cms. The wings of the male are white with black wingtips, and a yellow blush toward the hinges.

    Catopsilia pomona
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The wings of the female are pale yellow with black edges and spots.

    Catopsilia pomona
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    Underneath, the wings are dirty white with dark orange markings.

    Catopsilia pomona
    Male underside

    Catopsilia pomona
    Female underside

    (Specimens: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The eggs are pale yellow and barrel-shaped with ribs. They are laid singly on leaflets of a foodplant.

    The species occurs from Madagascar through south-east Asia, including :

  • India,
  • Japan,
  • New Guinea,
  • Thailand,

    and in Australia in:

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

    Catopsilia pomona
    (Photo: courtesy of Ian McMillan, Imbil, Queensland)

    This species is featured at Coffs Harbour Butterfly House. 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. 291-293.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae (1775), p. 479, No. 158.

    Ross Kendall,
    Images of Butterfly Larvae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 55 (December 2009), p. 32,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    R. L. Kitching, Dr. E. Scheermeyer, R. E. Jones and N. E. Pierce (Eds),
    The Biology of the Australian Butterflies,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 1999, Chapter 8.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 223.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 4 December 2009, 20 september 2013, 19 March 2015)