Saturday, 1 November 2008

Capers In Town

Not many, but more than last year!

I saw my first Caper White for the season on the 27th October.

Last Thursday, I saw 3 or 4 busy feeding on a Hebe (Wiri Mist)

These butterflies are migratory, temporary visitors to Victoria and other southern states. They seldom breed outside their normal breeding range unless they find suitable host sources.

Main larval host plant is Capparis sp.

Belenois java
PIERIDAE : Pierinae

(Click images to enlarge)


Mosura said...

One of the first butterflies I saw when I moved here but I haven't seen one since.

Junior Lepid said...

Interesting Mosura. In 2005 there were heaps here and they stayed for quite a while. 2006 and 2007 were pretty dismal. This year, there are a few around. I love the way they have dog fights with Pieris rapae! :-)

Duncan said...

JL, I've never sighted on of those around here, in fact I've never sighted one at all! Beaut pictures.

Junior Lepid said...

Thanks Duncan,

That's interesting that they don't seem to make it down your way. According to my little map, they should be around.

Denis Wilson said...

I never understand why the Caper Whites migrate they way they do, for there are none of the food plant genus in my area, but the adults turn up, having a good time, blown in on hot northerlies. But they cannot lay eggs on appropriate food plants, and never seem to try to return to their inland homes where Capparis plants live.
Interestingly, in your comments you refer to Pieris rapae. A good example of why modern taxonomists would not accept Pieris as a genus name now, for a butterfly, because there is a plant genus with the same name (or vice versa).

Gouldiae said...

G'day JL,
Right on cue. I managed to sight one in our little corner of Vic on Saturday. My info tells me they only get across to Mosura's island occasionally.

Junior Lepid said...

Thanks Denis and Gouldiae,

Shows you are more observant than Duncan, Gouldiae! :-)

Denis, I'm quite interested in the migration of these butterflies. We had some very bad winds last year which probably blew them well away.

Apparently many do migrate back up north - to their breeding grounds. They are an interesting butterfly and I wonder if they have actually adapted to new host plants?