Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Lemon Emigrant, Catopsilia pomona pomona (Fabricius)

As the name suggest, this is a seasonal butterfly, albeit one of the commonest when in season, usually around the months of May to June, preferring the warmer but not too dry months. It is often seen flying around Cassia bushes on the roadside (very common from Cheroh to Tersang) but to get a snapshot of these erratic flyers on a busy roadside is too much of a challenge.

Unlike C.scylla which is only restricted to disturbed environment, C. pomona can be seen in deeply wooded areas with open trails where they seem to colonize and use as migration routes. They do puddle and on each of my trekking trips, they were seen puddling with the other butterflies like the Orange Albatross, Common Grass Yellows and the Bluebottles. This is one of the pierids where even females will puddle, especially newly eclosed specimens. Males of f.hilaria are commonest to be encountered in forested areas whereas f.alcmeone seems to prefer more open environment and are more seasonal in abundance.

Watch a video of puddling Catopsilia pomona:




There are a few forms under two distinct forms: form 'crocale' which has black antannae above and form 'pomona' which has red antannae above.

Habitat indicator
RSP
WV
PG
VF
FTR
SC
LWDF
LWPF
LMEF
UMN
MN
 x
 x
 x
 x
 x
 x
 x
 x
 x



Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2013
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct

S
H
S
S
S
S
S

2013
2014
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
S
SSSSSHHSSSS
2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
S
S
S
S

S
S
S
S
S

S
S1

2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
 S
 S
 S
 S
 S
 S







2017
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec














Puddling group on 30 May 2013 @ 13:12


a small puddling group: 31 May 2014

*     *     *     *     *

The Seven Candlestick, Senna alata, is a known host plant of the Lemon Emigrant and I have observed the females depositing eggs on the younger shoots of this plant.

An egg deposited on the young leaf of the Senna alata.

*     *     *     *     *
Catopsilia pomona is a very variable species and there are many known forms, basically grouped into 2 distintc forms listed below:

A. Catopsilia pomona pomona "crocale" forms (with black antennae above, without silvery spots at the cell ends):

1. male f. alcmeone (Cramer)

Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec






 S1
 S1
S1






2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec



S1
S1(H)
S1(H)S6S10








Above 2 photos: fine examples of the C. pomona pomona f. alcmeone (Cramer) that show intense lemon yellow (variant?) -this was only observed on 12 May 2013 and not earlier...


12 April 2014 @ 13:15

Uppersides of the f. alcmeone. The Lemon yellow marking is more extended in f. alcmeone compared to f. hilaria. 01 May 2014 @ 13:45

11 May 2014 @ 11:38

06 Oct 2014 @ 11:04

23 Apr 2016 @ 11:44

 12:14

12:14

12:14
Above photos pictures of males in flight: 29 May 2016

12 June 2016 @ 11:58


Above pictures 19 June 2016 @ 13:15


2. female f. jugurtha (Cramer)
Creamy white above, wing bases tinged with yellow, black submarginal markings bordering the termen and costal area, a black cell-end spot on the FW (C&P).

Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec







S1








2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec





S1S2S7
S2







01 June 2013 @ 12:06

02 July 2016 @ 15:11

04 July 2016 @ 12:09


3. female f. crocale (Cramer)
The undersides are unmarked much like a male form alcmeone but is decidedly creamy white in colour with the dark markings of the uppersides showing through (see pictures below).

Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec















2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec





S1
S1






A poor record shot of a form crocale (Cramer) female puddling: 30 May 2016 @ 12:27. It can basically be differentiated from form jugurtha by the "broad black distal border bearing a series of large, diffuse, interneural whitish spots" (C&P)

11 June 2016 @ 12:50

03 July 2016 @ 12:43

*     *     *     *     *

B. Catopsilia pomona pomona "pomona" forms (with red antennae above, silvery spots outlined with red on underside at cell ends):

4. male of f.hilaria (Stoll)


Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec



S1
S1
 S1
S1 
 S1
S1
S1

S4
S1S4S6



2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec


S1
S1
S1S6
S1(H)S6







Observe the red upperside of its antannae

16 September 2013 @ 12:08

a newly eclosed male Catopsilia pomona pomona f. hilaria puddling: 31May 2014



One taken of C. pomona pomona f.hilaria with natural lighting: 02 Dec 2014 @ 13:32

13:11

13:18
Above 2 photos 05 Dec 2014

14 Feb 2015 @ 14:28

*     *     *     *     *
Melanistic male form hilaria (Stoll)

The extremely sunny weather coupled with sudden bouts of rains brought about huge numbers of Catopsilia pomona in all the usual places in Raub (June 2016). This year, the number of females produce from the usual brood was record in number as can be seen by the unusually large number of puddling females and for the first time, a melanistic male form hilaria...It has the exact same markings lika a female form catilla but the base is greenish white like a regular male form hilaria.

Habitat indicator
RSP
WV
PG
VF
FTR
SC
LWDF
LWPF
LMEF
UMN
MN






 x





Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)

2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec





 S1







2017
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec













Above picture of a yet unseen form puddling in the usual places 11 June 2016 @ 12:34 (Notice the charecteristic brand of the male near the hindwing cell). Could the intense heat and exceptional sunny days have had effect on this daylight sensitive species?


5. female f.pomona (Fabricius)
The commonest form of female Lemon Emigrant. This form shows a variable degree of yellow tint on the undersides from very intense orange yellow to very pale lemon yellow with a greenish tint (see pictures below).

Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2014
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct




 S1S2
 S1S2
 S1S2




2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

 S1





 S1
S1


S11



2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec




S1
S1(H)S6







Females of the Lemon Emigrant are rarely seen on moist spots. However, females of f.pomona are probably the most abundant form of the females to be encountered.



Above 2 photos of the female form pomona visiting flowers on 28 April 2013 @ 12:02

Another of the female form pomona taken on 30 May 2013 @ 13:55


Above 2 photos of a newly emerged female form pomona (pale variant). 13 June 2013 @ 14:22.

24 May 2014 @ 12:00

06 June 2014 @ 12:49

31 May 2014 @ 14:19 - females are much more abundant this year...

An unusually dark hued female pomona: 31 May 2014 @ 14:49


A female form pomona: 06 Dec 2014 @ 13:36

07 Jun 2016 @ 12:17


Above pictres 10 June 2016 @ 12:04

11 June 2016 @ 13:02

A pale yellow form with reddish markings. 11 June 2016 @ 12:30

18 June 2016 @ 12:36


6. female intermediate form between f. pomona and f. catilla

Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2014
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct









 S1

2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec








S1






2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec





S1







01 June 2013 @ 12:08


Above 2 photos 19 December 2013 @ 12:00.

26 Oct 2014 @ 12:07.

11 July 2015 @ 12:09

11 June 2016 @ 12:09

13:16

13:23
Above photos 19 June 2016


7. female f. catilla (Cramer), easily distiguished by the presence of dark red patches on the underside

Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2014
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct




 S1
 S1
S1




2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec







S1
S1






2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec





S1







The first record of the form catilla, found puddling on the same spot with the earlier intermediate form just twenty minutes away at 12:25 on 01 June 2013.

Taken on the same spot the next day...

A beautifully marked form Catilla from 01 May 2014 @ 13:39

31 May 2014 @ 12:13

06 June 2014 @ 12:48 - notice the broader orange area enclosed by the deep maroon patch.

11 July 2015 @ 12:54



8. female f. nivescens (Fruhstorfer)

Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec















2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec





S1






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