Cepora nerissa

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Common Gull
Cepora nerissa ad sec.jpg
Common Gull
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pieridae
Genus: Cepora
Species: C. nerissa
Binomial name
Cepora nerissa
Fabricius, 1775

see text

  • Papilio nerissa Fabricius, 1775
  • Huphina nerissa
  • Papilio amasene Cramer, [1775]
  • Huphina praetermissa Watkins, 1927
  • Huphina f. tairai Umeno, 1935
  • Appias dapha Moore, [1879]
  • Huphina vaso Doherty, 1891

The Common Gull (Cepora nerissa) is a small to medium-sized butterfly of the Family Pieridae, that is, the Yellows and Whites, which is native to India, China, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia.


Wet-season brood[edit]

Wet-season brood- Male in Narsapur, Medak district, India
Female- Woodcut from C.T. Bingham, The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma

Male upperside: white, a greyish-blue shade at base of wings and along the veins, due to the dark markings on the underside that show through. Fore wing: veins black; apex and termen black, the inner margin of that colour extended in an irregular curve from middle of costa to base of terminal third of vein 4, thence continued obliquely outwards to the tornal angle; interspaces 6 and 9 with short narrow greyish-white streaks of the ground-colour that stretch into the black apical area but do not reach the margin; a short black subterminal bar between veins 3 and 4 and another, less clearly defined, between veins 1 and 2. Hind wing: veins 4 to 7 with outwardly-dilated broad black edgings that coalesce sometimes and form an anterior, irregular, black, terminal margin to the wing. Underside, fore wing: white, the veins broadly margined on both sides by dusky black; costal margin broadly and apex suffused with yellow; subterminal black bars between veins 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 as on the upperside but less clearly defined. Hind wing entirely suffused with yellow, the veins diffusely bordered with black; a more or less incomplete, subterminal series of dusky spots in interspaces 1 to 6; more often than not the spot in 5 entirely absent; a conspicuous chrome-yellow spot on the precostal area. Antennae black, obscurely speckled with white; head and thorax bluish grey; abdomen dusky black; beneath: the palpi and abdomen white, the thorax yellow.[1]

Female similar to the male but very much darker. Upperside: veins more broadly bordered with black; in many specimens only the following portions of the white ground-colour are apparent:—Fore wing: a broad streak in cell and beyond it a discal series of streaks in interspaces 1 to 6, 9 and 10; the streaks in interspaces 1 and 3 very broadly interrupted by the transverse black bars ; that in 6 more or less obsolescent. Hind wing: a broad streak in cell, a discal series of streaks in interspaces 2 to 7, and a posterior more or less obsolescent subterminal series of greyish-white double spots. Underside similar to that of the male only the veins much more broadly margined with diffuse black scaling. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen as in the male.[1]

Dry-season brood[edit]

Dry-season form at Jayanti in Buxa Tiger Reserve in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, India
Dry-season form- Male at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India

Differ From the wet-season brood as follows:— Male upperside, fore wing: the apical and terminal black areas much restricted; veins concolorous; black subterminal bare less clearly defined; the lower one often obsolete. Hind wing: the black markings on tho termen represented by short triangular irrorations of black scales at the apices chiefly of the anterior veins. Underside: as in the wet-season specimens, but the yellow much paler and somewhat ochraceous in tint.[1]

Female differs less from the wet-season female, but the black markings on both the upper and under side are narrower and less pronounced, and on the latter the yellow suffusion is paler and ochraceous in tint.


The N.W. Himalayas up to 4000 ft.; Nepal; Sikkim; Bhutan; Bengal: Central, Western and Southern India; Ceylon.[1]


"Cylindrical, tapering at the anal end; finely white-dotted, with a lower lateral white line. Feeds on Capparis." (Thwaites)[1] Seems to prefer only Capparis zeylanica in Pune.[2]



"Greenish; thorax and basal abdominal segment acutely angled." (de Niceville MS)[1]


  • C. n. cibyra (Fruhstorfer, 1910) (Taiwan)
  • C. n. coronis (Cramer, 1775) (China)
  • C. n. corva (Wallace, 1867) (Java)
  • C. n. dapha (Moore, 1879) (central Burma, eastern Burma to Thailand, northern Peninsular Malaya, Langkawi)[3]
  • C. n. evagete (Cramer, 1775) (Sri Lanka, S.India)
  • C. n. lichenosa (Moore, 1877) (Andamans)
  • C. n. nerissa (Fabricius, 1775) (northern Vietnam, southern China)[4]
  • C. n. phryne (Fabricius, 1775) (northern India to western Burma)
  • C. n. physkon (Fruhstorfer, 1910) (Lombok)
  • C. n. sumatrana (Hagen, 1894) (Sumatra)
  • C. n. vaso (Doherty, 1891) (Sumbawa)
  • C. n. yunnanensis (Mell, 1951) (Yunnan)

Cepora lichenosa is treated as a full species by some authors.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Bingham, C. T. (1907). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Butterflies. Volume 2
  2. ^ Kunte, K. (2006). Additions to known larval host plants of Indian butterflies. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 103(1):119-120
  3. ^ 'C. n. dapha, A Check List of Butterflies in Indo-China
  4. ^ 'C. n. nerissa, A Check List of Butterflies in Indo-China