Expert Insight
Issue 4, March 2002 by Simon Chan


Common Name
Scientific Name
Family
Subfamily
Discovered by   
Polymorphism
:  Mottled Emigrant
:  Catopsilia pyranthe pyranthe
:  Pieridae
:  Coliadinae
:  Linnaeus in 1758 (the species ‘pyranthe’ and subspecies ‘pyranthe’)
:  No
 Orange Emigrant)

Mottled Emigrant - Catopsilia pyranthe

   
The rarest of three species from the genus Catopsilia found here, the Mottled Emigrant is a medium-sized butterfly with greenish white wings. On each upperside forewing, there is a black apical border, which is broader in the female, and a black cell-end spot. This spot may be very faint or non-existent in certain individuals. On the underside, the wings take on a darker greenish hue with numerous reddish brown transverse striae which is discernible up close and only when it is at rest.

The usual characteristics for the genus Catopsilia holds true for this species. It has an energetic and rapid ‘jumping’ flight and males have a tendency to puddle.

Thus far, BIG has found only one host plant for this species in Singapore and it is the Seven Golden Candlesticks (Cassia alata).

Cassia alata

Seven Golden Candlesticks (Cassia alata)

The life-history follows the usual Pieridae fashion and looks similar to the other Emigrant species. For starters, its eggs are light yellow and spindle-shaped. Then, its caterpillar is pale green with a white lateral stripe bearing a series of minute black dots on its upper edge similar to the ones of Orange Emigrant (Catopsilia scylla cornelia). Finally, its green pupa is indistinguishable from the other Emigrants.
 
 
Eggs Larval stage : caterpillars at early and last instar
 

Pupal Stage

Pre-Pupa Freshly formed pupa Pupa before emerging Adult emerging
 

Freshly emerged Mottled Emigrant

Written by : Simon Chan Kee Mun
Photos by : Gan CW
Dated        : 26th February 2002

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