Appias albina

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For other uses, see Albina.
Common Albatross
VB 078 Common Albatross Female.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pieridae
Genus: Appias
Species: A. albina
Binomial name
Appias albina
(Boisduval, 1836)

The Common Albatross (Appias albina) is a small butterfly of the family Pieridae (Yellows and Whites). It is found in India Southeast Asia and Australia.


See glossary for terms used

This butterfly closely resembles Appias paulina but the males can distinguished by the more acutely pointed forewing and the females by the narrower oblique black band on the underside of the forewing. Other differences are given below.



Wet-season form[edit]

Males have the upper forewings irrorated with black scales at the apex and anteriorly along the termen, much more sparsely and narrower in general than in A. paulina. On the underside, the apex of the forewing and the whole surface of the hind wing are pale dull ochraceous, sometimes with a faint pinkish tint, but never pale yellow as in paulina.

Female is dimorphic; the forms differ as follows:

1st Form : On the upperside, the posterior tornal portion of the black area on fore wing is not inwardly rounded, but straight and generally diffuse. The underside is very like the underside of the dry-season form of A. paulina female. It differs, however, in the narrowness of the oblique curved black band, the outer margin of which is irregularly zigzag, and never evenly curved as in paulina.

2nd Form : Markings as in the 1st form, but the ground-colour on the upperside is entirely pale yellow. On the underside, the apical half of cell and the disc of the fore wing up to the black band are pale sulphur-yellow. The oblique curved black band is as in the 1st form and the interspace 1 is whitish. The rest of the fore wing and the entire surface of the hind wing are rich chrome-yellow.

The antennae, head, thorax and abdomen are much as in A. paulina, but the antennae are dusky black and more closely speckled with white; the underside of the thorax is white in males, never yellow.[1]

male at Silent Valley NP, India

Dry season form[edit]

Upper and under sides : similar to that of the wet-season specimens, but in the male the dusting of black scales on the upperside has almost, in some specimens completely, disappeared, while on the underside the ochraceous colouring is much paler.

In the females both dimorphs differ but little from the dimorphs of the wet-season form, only on the upperside the black on the apical half of the fore and on the terminal margin of the hind wing is more restricted, while on the underside the oblique curved black band that crosses the fore wing is distinctly narrower with a tendency to become diffuse.[1]

The wing expanse is 60-74 mm.

Found in Sikkim up to 4000 feet, Bengal, Western and Southern India. Also extending into northeastern India, Burma and the Malay peninsula.

Life cycle[edit]

A. a. swinhoei


"Light green with a yellow-white spiracular band from segments 2 & 3 to segment 12, where the band expands somewhat. Head round, shining, yellow .... covered with small conical setiferous black tubercles ; body rugose, with six transverse rows from above the spiracular region over the dorsum, of small, shining, setiferous, conical black tubercles to each segment ; segments 2, 12 and 13 have only a few transverse rows of such tubercles."[1]


"Dirty whitish, with a pink shade on segments 4 to 14. The head-process from between the eyes is long, flattened at the sides, slightly curved, pointed at the extremity .... edges on ventral surface minutely serrated. The front margin of segment 2 is produced into a small subdorsal tooth, and the dorsal line is rather strongly carinated ; thorax highly carinated on the dorsal line . . . . ; lateral teeth of segments 6, 7 and 8 are all of the same size and are pointed . . . . ; the head-production, the points on segment 2, the teeth on segments 6 and 7 (sometimes) and the extremity of the cremaster black." (After de Niceville.)[1]

Food plants[edit]

Drypetes oblongifolia, Drypetes roxburghii and Drypetes venusta.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d Bingham, C. T. 1907. Fauna of British India. Butterflies. Vol. 2
  2. ^ Kunte, K. 2006. Additions to known larval host plants of Indian butterflies. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 103(1):119-120

See also[edit]