N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Catopsilia pyranthe (Linné, 1758)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Papilio pyranthe Linné, 1758: 469.
Type locality: Asia
Type: Lectotype: "66 [Linnaeus]"; "Pyranthe 763 [Smith]"; in coll. The Linnean Collections at The Linnean Society of London (picture)


Description of adults: Examined: 2 . Wing expanse: 52-66 mm (Bingham 1907), 53,9-55,0 mm.

. "Upperside: chalky-white, slightly tinted in some specimens with green. Fore wing: with or without a discocellular black spot, that varies in size; costa and termen sometimes without a black margin; occasionally the costa has its apical third narrowly black, broadened slightly at the apex with black spots between the anterior veins; or again, the costa may be narrowly black, the apex very broadly so, and this colour continued down the termen but narrowed posteriorly. Hind wing: sometimes immaculate, but generally with narrow terminal black spots at the apices of the veins, these often reduced to mere dots, or again so broadened as to coalesce into a narrow terminal black margin. Underside: ground-colour similar, suffused on the anterior half of the fore and over the whole surface of the hind wing with a greenish tint that varies to an ochraceous yellow, and, except in the very palest specimens, is evenly irrorated over the greenish or ochraceous-tinted areas with transverse, short, reddish-brown strigae; both fore and hind wings with generally an obscure discocellular reddish-brown spot or indication thereof" (Bingham 1907).

: Vestiture of hair-like scales on the head short, whitish, mixed brownish; eyes large, semiglobular, dark brown; palpi only slightly longer than head, smoothly scaled creamy-white, distal segment umber brown dorsally, mixed whitish; antennae about 2/5 of forewing length, dark brown; thorax scarcely scaled greenish-white, anteriorly, laterally and posteriorly, as the tegulae, with long, white hair-like scales; forewing upperside greenish-white, at base of costa and cell brownish irrorated; anterior margin narrow black-brown, apex alike, black-brown colouration from here tapering towards tornus along outer margin; from apex a row of irregular, indistinct, black-brown dots submarginally across half of wing width, partly coalescing with dark outer margin; a black-brown, oval spot at discus; hindwing upperside greenish-white too, along outer margin irregular, indistinct black-brown spots, especially at the ends of veins; underside of forewing in posterior half greenish-white, anterior dull yellow with delicate short undulate brown cross-lines, reddish margins and a grey-red, light centered spot at discus; underside of hindwing with same colouration and markings as anterior half of forewing, at discus with three small white, grey-red encircled spots; wing margins also delicately reddish; underside of thorax and legs smoothly scaled dull yellowish; abdomen on upperside smoothly scaled greenish-white, on underside dull yellowish.


The species is distributed throughout the entire Oriental region. On the Andaman islands, the Nicobares and Sri Lanka, it is represented by ssp. minna Herbst (D´Abrera 1982). Following Bingham (1907), C. pyranthe extends its range eastwards to China and southwards to Australis. In the Himalayas, the species hardly exceeds 2000 m (7000 ft.).


Biotope tall herb vegetation: Thailand, Pattaya, 2008.01.15 Nectaring on Hibiscus: Thailand, Pattaya, 2008.01.15    
Picture from: Lettner Rudolf & Gerlinde
Detailed view
Picture from: Lettner Rudolf & Gerlinde
Detailed view

Stages in development:

Larva. Following Bingham (1907), the larva is long, somewhat depressed, rough, green, with a white lateral line and above it a black line more or less conspicuous, formed by minute black shining tubercles. It is found on c, resting on the upperside along the midrib, like almost all Pierinae larvae.

Pupa. Stout, keel formed by the wing-case not very pronounced. The normal colour is pale green with a yellow lateral line (Bingham 1907).

Worth knowing:


Bingham, C. T. 1907. Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Butterflies - Vol. II. Taylor & Francis, London, 480 pp., 20 pl.
D´Abrera B. 1982. Butterflies of the Oriental region, part I, Hill House, High View Road, Ferny Creek, Victoria, Australia, 244 pp.
Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.) Holmiae. Systema Nat. ed. 10 i-ii + 1-824.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2015.03.13
Kurz Michael: 2015.03.14
not reviewed