11 May 2013

Life History of the Painted Jezebel

Life History of the Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Delias
Hübner, 1819
Species: hyparete Linnaeus, 1758
Subspecies: metarete Butler, 1879
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 60-75mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plant: Dendropthoe pentandra (Loranthaceae).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
Above, the wings are white with veins black-dusted towards the outer margins. The female has its veins more heavily black-dusted than the male. Underneath, the wings are white with black-dusted veins. In the hindwing, the basal half is bright yellow and the marginal border is bright orange-red.

A female Painted Jezebel showing us its upperside.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
Painted Jezebel is common throughout Singapore with occurrence in multiple habitats in both nature reserves and urbanised areas. This is likely due to its host plant, Dendrophthoe pentandra, being a common mistletoe on many trees in these areas. The adults can be readily seen fluttering tirelessly at tree-top levels during most of the daylight hours. They only descend to take nectar from flowers or to rest in the shaded understorey towards the later part of the day.