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Catopsilia florella / African migrant Pieridae

A medium-large butterfly with similar colours to the Brimstone though opposite colours between the sexes, with males being greenish-white on the uppersides and females brighter yellow (The butterflies are sexually dimorphic – males are white, and females may be white oryellow). Both sexes have a postdiscal black spot visible from the uppersides. It is the only African representative of its genus. They are strong fliers and occasionally migrate in large numbers.

 

Catopsilia florella Caterpillars

Its larval colouring depends on plant parts ingested: if on the leaves it is green but if on the yellow flowers it is yellow. It is speckled with tiny black dots and have a pale line along the spiracles.Strongly associated with its larval food plant, the very distinctive Cassia that is often used as an ornamental plant.

 

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Pieridae

Genus: Catopsilia

Species: Catopsilia florella

 

Habitat and Distribution:

It is found in Africa (including Madagascar), the Canary Islands, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, and China. Commonly found throughout Arabia.

In the Atlantic Islands it prefers coastal areas with cultivated fields or gardens though its natural habitats are savannah, flowery mountainsides and grasslands.

Flies throughout the year, although less so in winter.

 

Diet and Feeding

Found in areas were good vegetation is available such as henna, acacia, or salvadora persica.

 

Breeding:

Breeding occurs through the warmer parts of the year. It flies fast around its food plant and along roads and over gardens. Eggs are laid on the budding flowers and less frequently on new shoots

Female lays several eggs. Eggs are bottle-‐‐shaped with ribs down sides. Pupae stage lasts several days. When the adult emerges it takes a few minutes to harden the veins in the wings.