Expert Insight
Issue 2, November 2001 by Gan Cheong Weei

Common Name
Scientific Name
Discovered by   
:  Orange Emigrant
:  Catopsilia scylla cornelia
:  Pieridae
:  Coliadinae
:  Fabricius in 1787
:  No
 Orange Emigrant)

Catopsilia scylla (Orange Emigrant)

he Orange Emigrant, together with its close cousin, the Lemon Emigrant, are often encountered in parks and urban areas.  It is only found in lower elevation and rather local but may be fairly common where it occurs.  It is slightly smaller than the Lemon Emigrant but has similar characteristics - medium sized, robust, flies swiftly 2-3m above ground with energetic and rapid 'jumping' flight maneuvers. Above, its forewing is white with a black distal border and the hindwing is chrome-yellow. The female (see photos on the top-right and on the right) is slightly larger, paler yellow, with subapical black spots on the upperside forewing and triangular wedges on the upperside hindwing.  The Orange Emigrant is easily identified on account of their flight pattern and their overall chrome-yellow colour.

The Orange Emigrant's host plants include Cassia biflora (Bushy Cassia), Cassia tora and Cassia fistula. In Singapore, Cassia biflora, which is commonly found along road sides, is its favorite host plant.

The life-history of Orange Emigrant follows the Pieridaes : It's eggs are spindle in shape and milky white in colour, usually laid singly on either side of the hostplant leaf. It's caterpillars are long (40 mm at the last instar), green and smooth with round head.  The caterpillar goes through five instars, from totally green to yellowish-green with a few minute black dots above a white lateral line. The pupa is 26mm long, green overall,  yellow along the edge and does not have any markings.  It is anally attached to the stem or leaf of the host plant and supported in an upright position by a girdle around it.  It has an oval stage lasting 1.5 to 2 days, larval stage lasting 11-13 days and pupal stage lasting 7 days.

 Mating pair - female below

Cassia biflora

Egg Larval stage : caterpillars at early and last instar Pre-Pupa


Pupal Stage
The subapical black spots on the upperside forewing in
the rightmost picture indicates that it is a female butterfly.

Freshly formed pupa Pupa the night before eclosion Pupa just  before eclosion

Freshly emerged female Orange Emigrant


Written by : Gan Cheong Weei
Photos by : Gan CW , Simon Chan
Dated        : 4th October 2001.

Expert Insight articles

  Lemon  Emigrant
  Orange Emigrant
  Mottled Emigrant
  Painted Jezebel
  Common Palmfly

  Blue Nawab (Polyura schreiber tisamenus)

More Butterfly articles

BIG Home
| BIG Content | NSS Home | Join NSS | Contact BIG
Copyright 2001 BIG. All rights reserved.
No part of this page may be reproduced in any form or by any means,
without the prior written permission of the publishers.