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Mottled Emigrant

Catopsilia pyranthe


Scientific classification Kingdom : Animalia Phylum : Arthropoda Class : Insecta Order : Lepidoptera Family : Pieridae Genus : Catopsilia Species : C. pyranthe


This butterfly is very common and occurs all over the island from sea level to about 2000 feet elevation. It can be seen in secondary forests, cultivated land, most gardens and open spaces, waste places and urban areas especially in lower elevations up to 1800 feet. The butterfly is often seen at much higher elevations during migrations. It is very seasonal and appears in large numbers during the pre-monsoons periods. It colonizes new areas quite rapidly but may be extirpated locally after a few broods.


Its flight is quite slow, straight and less bouncy. It increases in number during the North East Monsoon and is a great “swarmer”. Its flight is strong and erratic and it suddenly climbs to considerable heights. It often settles on the underside of leaves and flowers. It is not a species of the high canopy and is most frequently seen flying just above weedy vegetation or low bushes, stopping now and again to nectar on the flowers of small shrubs and herbs. It is more partial to wild flowers and is seldom seen on ornamentals. During the hot weather, the males are seen mud-sipping, often in the company of other white butterflies. This butterfly is easy to breed within captivity.

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Spotted by

Galle, Sri Lanka

Spotted on Mar 4, 2012
Submitted on Jan 9, 2013

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