The Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete) is a medium-sized butterfly in the Pieridae family – the white, yellow, or orange butterflies.
The Painted Jezebel has a dark body with medium length antennae. The female has yellow, white, and orange-red wings with black lines. Males are paler. The female’s bright colours are on the underside of the wings. The upper side is white with black veins (lines).
It measures about 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) with a wingspan of about 4-5.5 centimetres (1.5-2 inches).
The Painted Jezebel is native to India, south-east Asia, and the South Pacific islands. It likes open woods and gardens. The butterflies in this article were photographed in Cambodia.
It is a high flyer, preferring to fly around tall trees to sip the nectar from flowers. Occasionally, it feeds on nectaring flowers closer to the ground.
The butterfly tastes terrible, and its bright colours reminds predators of the bad taste, which deters them from eating the butterflies.
The adult butterfly lays eggs. The eggs hatch into hairy caterpillars (the larvae stage). The caterpillars feed on leaves, especially the Common Mistletoe (Dendropthoe pentandra). It then pupates inside a case called a chrysalis. Adult butterflies emerge from the chrysalis.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM