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

Leptosia nina (Fabricius, 1793)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Papilio nina Fabricius, 1793: 194.
Type locality: India orientali
Type: ?, not in ZMUC, Copenhagen (Kristensen & Karsholt 2007)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
The following list follows Savela (2015).

Papilio xiphia Fabricius, 1781: 43. Type locality: India orientali. Primary homonym of Papilio xiphia Fabricius, 1775 (= Pararge xiphia).
Pontia crokera MacLeay, [1826]: 458. Type locality: Intertropical coasts of Australia. Subspecies.
Leptosia chlorographa Hübner, 1818: 13, pl. [9], f. 47-48. Type locality: Java. Subspecies.
Pontia niobe Wallace, 1866: 357. Type locality: Formosa. Subspecies.
Pontia dione Wallace, 1867: 319. Type locality: Southern Sulawesi, Macassar. Subspecies.
Nychitona xiphia var. nicobarica Doherty, 1886: 262. Type locality: Nicobars. Subspecies.
Leptosia xiphia comma Fruhstorfer, 1903: 269. Type locality: Timor; Wetter; Kalao; Tanah; Djampea; Selaru; Key. Subspecies.
Leptosia xiphia fumigata Fruhstorfer, 1903: 269. Type locality: Lombok. Subspecies.
Leptosia xiphia aurisparsa Fruhstorfer, 1910: 121. Type locality: Savu Island. Infrasubspecific name (seasonal form).
Leptosia xiphia terentia Fruhstorfer, 1910: 121. Type locality: Southern Philippines, Bazilan. Subspecies.
Leptosia xiphia georgi Fruhstorfer, 1910: 121. Type locality: Northern Philippines, Luzon. Subspecies.
Leptosia xiphia malayana Fruhstorfer, 1910: 121. Type locality: Greater Sunda Islands, Malay Peninsula. Subspecies.
Leptosia xiphia micropunctata van Eecke, 1918: 73. Type locality: Pulau Lasia, Indonesia. Junior subjective synonym of Leptosia xiphia malayana Fruhstorfer, 1910.
Leptosia xiphia aebutia Fruhstorfer, 1910. Type locality: Tana-Djampea, Kalao. Subspecies.



Description of adults: Examined: 1 , 1 of ssp. nina. Wing expanse: 37.1 mm, 38.8 mm. Head with white and dark brown scales somewhat distantly scaled; eyes big, semiglobular, brown; palpi only slightly longer than head, distantly scaled white, terminal segment somewhat bent upwards, mixed white and dark brown, tip and groove below light brown; thorax scarsely scaled white, laterally and posteriorly also with long white hair-like scales; forewings rounded at outer margin, white on upperside, dusted dark brown at basis and along costa; apex with somewhat irregular, black brown spot, inwardly angulate; submarginally an irregular quadrangulate black brown spot between veins M3 and Cu1, somewhat projecting above both veins anteriorly and posteriorly, respectively; hindwing white on upperside, without markings, only veins somewhat blackish at the extreme edge; underside of forewings white too, olive-brown dusting on basis and along costa broadly expanded towards apex, more condensed and spotted, also engaging the area of the apical spot and from here along the outer margin across more than half of the wing width; the black brown submarginal spot like on the upperside; underside of hind wing white, with numerous short, undulate, very delicate, olive brown cross-lines; underside of thorax and legs white downwards to femora, tibiae and tarsi brown with scarce white scaling; abdomen dark brown, with dense white scaling on underside, but scarce scaling on upperside, especially towards posterior end.


Following D´Abrera (1982), the species ist distributed throughout the Oriental region in several subspecies in Sri Lanka, India, Indo-China, Thailand, Langkawi, the Andamans, Malaysia, Singapur, Sumatra, Borneo, Bangka, Biliton, the Nicobares, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Solor, Sulawesi, the Philippines and Taiwan. It occurs also in Australia (Häuser et al. 2005).


India, West Bengal, Jayanti in Buxa Tiger Reserve, 2008.03.17 India, West Bengal, Kolkata, 2006.09.02 India, Kerala, Kadavoor, 2014.03.31 India, Kerala, Thoraikadavu, 2013.06.29
Picture from: wikimedia commons: J.M.Garg (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Detailed view
Picture from: wikimedia commons: J.M.Garg (CC-BY-SA-3.0-migrated)
Detailed view
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Jeevan Jose (CC-BY-SA-4.0)
Detailed view
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Vengolis (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Detailed view

Stages in development:

Larva: without data Pupa: without data    
Picture from: wikimedia commons: AnilaManalil (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Detailed view
Picture from: wikimedia commons: AnilaManalil (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Detailed view

Larva. "Green, with a pale glaucous tinge about the bases of the legs and slightly hairy. Feeds on capers." (Bingham 1907)

Pupa, "Sometimes green, but oftener of a delicate pink shade." (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.
Fabricius J. C. 1793. Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta. Secundum classes, ordines, genera, species adjectis synonimis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Tom. III. Pars I. - pp. [1-5], 1-487, [1]. Hafniae. (Proft).
Häuser, C. L., J. Holstein & A. Steiner 2005. The Global Butterfly Information System. http://www.globis.insects-online.de. Last updated 14.04.2011 [online 26 March 2014].
Kristensen, N. P. & O. Karsholt 2007. Lists of primary types of Lepidoptera in the ZMUC collections. http://www.zmuc.dk/EntoWeb/collections-databaser/Lepidoptera/Lepidoptera-index.htm [online 04 March 2015].
Savela, M. 2015. Lepidoptera and some other life forms. Leptosia Hübner, [1818]. - available at: http://ftp.funet.fi/index/Tree_of_life/insecta/lepidoptera/ditrysia/papilionoidea/pieridae/pierinae/leptosia/ [online 11 March 2015].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2015.02.23
Kurz Michael: 2015.03.05
Kurz Michael: 2015.03.11
Kurz Michael: 2015.03.19
not reviewed