List of butterflies of India (Pieridae)

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The is a list of the pierid butterflies of India. It forms part of the full List of butterflies of India.

The family Pieridae, or the whites and yellows are a family of butterflies of moderate or small size. The common names refer to the two predominant colours found on the wings of these butterflies along with markings in black.

Of the 1051 species of pierids occurring in the world, 81 species in 21 genera are found in India.

The common Jezebel (Delias eucharis), is a brightly coloured pierid found in South Asia.

Distinguishing features[edit]

  • Outline of wings usually regular. Hindwings are never tailed.
  • Forelegs are fully developed in both sexes.
  • The hindwings are channelled at the abdomen to fit the abdomen.


Worldwide, family Pieridae has four subfamilies, of which the whites and the yellows are well represented in India.

Subfamily Pierinae, whites[edit]

Genus Aporia, blackveins[edit]

Genus Baltia, dwarfs[edit]

Genus Pieris, whites[edit]

Genus Pontia, Bath whites[edit]

Genus Anaphaeis, pioneers[edit]

Genus Cepora, gulls[edit]

Genus Ixias, Indian orange tips[edit]

Genus Delias, Jezebels[edit]

Genus Prioneris, sawtooths[edit]

Genus Appias, puffins and albatrosses[edit]

Genus Leptosia, Psyche[edit]

Genus Euchloe, little whites[edit]

Genus Hebomoia, great orange tip[edit]

Genus Colotis, Arabs[edit]

Genus Pareronia, wanderers[edit]

Subfamily Coliadinae, yellows[edit]

Genus Catopsilia, emigrants[edit]

Genus Gonepteryx, brimstones[edit]

Genus Dercas, sulphurs[edit]

Genus Eurema, grass yellows[edit]

Genus Gandaca, tree yellow[edit]

Genus Colias, clouded yellows[edit]

Life cycle[edit]

  • Eggs - Tall, bottle-shaped eggs which are ribbed down the sides. They are generally white, eventually changing to yellow or orange, or, they may be blotched with red.
  • Caterpillars - The caterpillars are cylindrical and smooth usually covered with hairy-ended tubercles. They are generally green and have pale longitudinal stripes. They are all generally similar and difficult to distinguish apart.
  • Chrysalids - Angular with a pointed head which may be produced into a long snout. Supported by a tail hook and girth, some being suspended head upwards like the swallowtails and others being fastened horizontally to a leaf or other surface.

Food plants[edit]

The food plants vary considerably, however there is a general trend, in that the whites mostly use capers, (family Capparidaceae) while the yellows usually prefer members of the family Leguminosae, which consist of peas, clover, Cassia and others.


External links[edit]