July 21, 2013 8:12 pm
I saw this pretty butterfly while visiting Agra fort during summers…..could you identify it?
We found a matching image of a Caper White on Butterfly Zone, but there is no scientific name. TrekNature identifies the Caper White as Belenois java teutonia, and indicates: “This butterfly has its origins in Africa where a large number of morphologically similar species occur. The butterfly belongs in the Anaphaeis subgeneric group, the name which this butterfly used to be known as. This subgroup contains members that undertake major mass migrations. In Africa the major member is Belenois(Anaphaeis) aurota which annually undertakes migrations during summer-autumn in a northeast direction.
This butterfly has historically made its way to India, and from there probably made its way via Indonesia to Australia where it is now represented by B. java.
… It is a strong migrant, and every spring, numbers of these butterflies will fly south from northern breeding grounds helped by the hot northerly winds that occur at that time. They sometimes fly over the sea reaching islands adjacent to Australia, although they have yet to make it to New Zealand. Females are both gravid and fertile during these migrations and will stop to lay eggs on hostplants if they happen upon them. The numbers in these migrations can be immense, attracting attention from the public who often think it is a plague of Cabbage Whites descending upon them.”
Several years ago, we posted some photos of a large group of Caper Whites “puddling” in Mali.