List of butterflies of India (Pieridae)

List of butterflies of India (Pieridae)

The article is a list of the pierid butterflies of India. It forms part of the full list of butterflies of India.

The family Pieridae, or the Whites and Yellows are a family of butterflies of moderate or small size. The common names refer to the two predominant colours found on the wings of these butterflies along with markings in black.

Of the 1051 species of pierids occurring in the world, 81 species in 21 genera are found in India.

Distinguishing features

* Outline of wings usually regular. Hindwings are never tailed.
* Forelegs are fully developed in both sexes.
* The hindwings are channelled at the abdomen to fit the abdomen.


The family Pieridae has four subfamilies, of which the Whites and the Yellows are well represented in India.
* "Pierinae" or the Whites.
* "Coliadinae" or the Yellows.
* "Dismorphiinae". (6 genera of Neotropical butterflies and one genus "Leptidea" in the Palearctic region but not occurring in India.)
* "Pseudopontiinae" (A single species in tropical West Africa.)

ubfamily "Pierinae", The Whites

Genus "Aporia", The Blackveins

*Tibet Blackvein, "Aporia peloria" Hewitson, 1853
*Himalayan Blackvein, "Aporia leucodice" (Eversman, 1843)
*Dusky Blackvein, "Aporia nabellica" (Boisduval, 1836)
*Bhutan Blackvein, "Aporia harrietae" (De Nicéville, 1892)
*Great Blackvein, "Aporia agathon" (Gray, 1832)

Genus "Baltia", The Dwarfs

* Shaw's Dwarf , "Baltia shawi" (Bates, 1873)
* Butler's Dwarf , "Baltia butleri" Alphéraky, 1889

Genus "Pieris", The Whites

* Chumbi White , "Pieris chumbiensis" De Nicéville, 1897
* Green Banded White , "Pieris krueperi devta" (De Nicéville, 1884)
* Greenvein White , "Pieris napi" Linnaeus, 1767
* Naga White , "Pieris naganum" Moore, 1884
* Kashmir White , "Pieris deota" (De Nicéville, 1884)
* Large Cabbage-White , "Pieris brassicae" Linnaeus, 1758
* Indian Cabbage White , "Pieris canidia" Linnaeus, 1768
* Small Cabbage White , " Pieris rapae" Linnaeus, 1758

Genus "Pontia", The Bath Whites

*Lesser Bath White , "Pontia chloridice " Hübner, 1803/18
* Lofty Bath White , "Pontia callidice" (Moore, 1865)
* Bath White , "Pontia daplidice" Linnaeus 1758

Genus "Anaphaeis", The Pioneers

* Pioneer (Caper White), "Anaphaeis aurota" Fabricius, 1793

Genus "Cepora", The Gulls

* Common Gull , "Cepora nerissa" Fabricius, 1775
* Lesser Gull , "Cepora nadina" Lucas, 1852

Genus "Ixias", The Indian Orange Tips

* White Orange Tip , "Ixias marianne" Cramer, 1779
* Yellow Orange Tip , "Ixias pyrene" Linnaeus, 1764

Genus "Delias", The Jezebels

* Yellow Jezebel , "Delias agostina" Hewitson, 1852
* Common Jezebel , "Delias eucharis" Drury, 1773
* Painted Jezebel , "Delias hyparete" Linnaeus, 1758
* Hill Jezebel , "Delias belladonna" Fabricius, 1793
* Hill Jezebel , "Delias sanaca" (Moore,1857)
* Dark Jezebel , "Delias berinda" (Moore,1872)
* Redspot Jezebel , "Delias descombesi" Boisduval, 1836
* Redbase Jezebel , "Delias aglaia" Linnaeus
* Redbreast Jezebel , "Delias thysbe" Cramer, 1779

Genus "Prioneris", The Sawtooths

* Spotted Sawtooth , "Prioneris thestylis" Doubleday, 1842
* Painted Sawtooth , "Prioneris sita" C. Felder, 1865
* Redspot Sawtooth , "Prioneris clemanthe" Doubleday, 1846

Genus "Appias", The Puffins and Albatrosses

* Spot Puffin , "Appias lalage" (Doubleday, 1842)
* Plain Puffin , "Appias indra" Moore, 1857
* Western Striped Albatross , "Appias libythea" Fabricius, 1775
* Eastern Striped Albatross , "Appias olferna" Fabricius, 1775
* Chocolate Albatross , "Appias lyncida" Cramer, 1777
* Common Albatross, "Appias albina" Felder
* Lesser Albatross , "Appias wardii" (Moore, 1884)
* Orange Albatross, "Appias nero galba" (Wallace, 1867)
* Nicobar Albatross, "Appias panda chrysea" Fruhstorfer, 1903

Genus "Leptosia", The Psyche

* Psyche , "Leptosia nina" Fabricius, 1793

Genus "Euchloe", The Little Whites

* Lemon White , "Euchloe charlonia lucilla" Butler, 1886
* Pearl White , "Euchloe ausonia dephalis" Hübner 1803

Genus "Hebomoia", The Great Orange Tip

* Great Orange-Tip , "Hebomoia glaucippe" Linnaeus, 1758

Genus "Colotis", The Arabs

* Small Salmon Arab , "Colotis amata" Fabricius, 1775
* Blue-Spotted Arab , "Colotis phisadia" (Godart, 1819)
* White Arab , "Colotis vestalis" (Butler, 1876)
* Large Salmon Arab , "Colotis fausta" (Olivier, 1804)
* Small Orange-Tip , "Colotis etrida" Boisduval, 1836
* Plain Orange-Tip , "Colotis eucharis" Fabricius, 1775
* Crimson-Tip , "Colotis danae" (Fabricius, 1775)

Genus "Pareronia", The Wanderers

* Pale Wanderer , "Pareronia avatar" (Moore, 1858)
* Dark Wanderer , "Pareronia ceylanica" (C. & R. Felder, 1865)
* Common Wanderer , "Pareronia valeria" (Cramer, 1776)

ubfamily "Coliadinae", The Yellows

Genus "Catopsilia", The Emigrants

* Common Emigrant , "Catopsilia pomona" Fabricius, 1775
* Mottled Emigrant , "Catopsilia pyranthe" Latreille, 1758

Genus "Gonepteryx", The Brimstones

* Common Brimstone, "Gonepteryx rhamni" Latreille, 1758
* Lesser Brimstone, "Gonepteryx aspasia" Ménétriés, 1859

Genus "Dercas", The Sulphurs

* Tailed Sulphur , "Dercas verhuelli" (Hoeven, 1839)
* Plain Sulphur , "Dercas lycorias" (DoubleDay, 1842)

Genus "Eurema", The Grass Yellows

* Small Grass Yellow , "Eurema brigitta" Cramer, 1780
* Spotless Grass Yellow , "Eurema laeta" Boisduval, 1836
* Scarce Grass Yellow , "Eurema lacteola" Distant, 1886
* One-Spot Grass Yellow , "Eurema andersonii" Moore
* Common Grass Yellow , "Eurema hecabe" Linnaeus, 1758
* Three-Spot Grass Yellow , "Eurema blanda" Boisduval, 1836
* Nilgiri Grass Yellow , "Eurema nilgiriensis"

Genus "Gandaca", The Tree Yellow

*Tree Yellow , "Gandaca harina" (Horsfield, 1829)

Genus "Colias", The Clouded Yellows

* Lemon Clouded Yellow , "Colias thrasibulus" Fabricius, 1910
* Ladakh Clouded Yellow , "Colias ladakensis" C. Felder, 1865
* Everest Clouded Yellow , "Colias berylla" Fawcett, 1904
* Fawcett's Clouded Yellow , "Colias nina" Fawcett, 1904
* Pale Clouded Yellow , "Colias hyale" Linnaeus, 1758
* Fiery Clouded Yellow , "Colias eogene" C. Felder, 1865
* Orange Clouded Yellow , "Colias stoliczkana" Moore
* Dwarf Clouded Yellow , "Colias dubia" Elwes, 1906
* Dark Clouded Yellow , "Colias croceus" Geoffroy, 1785
* Nilgiri Clouded Yellow , "Colias nilgiriensis"

Life cycle

*Eggs - Tall, bottle-shaped eggs which are ribbed down the sides. They are generally white, eventually changing to yellow or orange, or, they may be blotched with red.
*Caterpillars - The caterpillars are cylindrical and smooth usually covered with hairy-ended tubercles. They are generally green and have pale longitudinal stripes. They are all generally similar and difficult to distinguish apart.
*Chrysalids - Angular with a pointed head which may be produced into a long snout. Supported by a tail hook and girth, some being suspended head upwards like the Swallowtails and others being fastened horizontally to a leaf or other surface.

Food plants

The foodplants vary considerably, however there is a general trend, in that the Whites mostly use Capers, (family "Capparidaceae") while the Yellows usually prefer members of the family "Leguminosae", which consist of peas, clover, "Cassia" and others.


* Evans, W.H. (1932) The Identification of Indian Butterflies. (2nd Ed), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India
* Gay,Thomas; Kehimkar,Isaac & Punetha,J.C.(1992) Common Butterflies of India. WWF-India and Oxford University Press, Mumbai, India.
* Haribal, Meena (1994) Butterflies of Sikkim Himalaya and their Natural History.
* Kunte,Krushnamegh (2005) Butterflies of Peninsular India. Universities Press.
* Wynter-Blyth, M.A. (1957) Butterflies of the Indian Region, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India.

External links

* [ LepIndex, NHM, London]
* [ Idaho Museum of Natural History]
* [ A modern classification of the Pieridae at Butterfly Net International]
* [ Indian Butterflies - Pieridae]

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