Catopsilia scylla etesia (Hewitson) (Orange Migrant)
Interesting aspects: This butterfly seems to be more intolerant of cooler conditions than the other two Catopsilia migrant species.
Larval food-host: Cassia spp, the tropical and subtropical varieties with larger flowers incl. *C. fistula (golden shower) (Caesalpiniaceae), also Tephrosia sp. (Fabaceae).
Flight period: The butterfly is seen all year round in the tropical north of Australia. It has migrant tendencies, moving south into subtropical latitudes during the monsoon wet period.
Distribution: Normally a tropical butterfly. The butterfly has yet to be observed in South Australia, but as it has been seen in the southern parts of the Northern Territory, there is a faint possibility the butterfly will eventually be observed in the far north of the state during an extended wet monsoonal summer period.
Habitat: The butterfly normally requires tropical, humid woodland habitat. Potential Tephrosia hostplants occur sporadically in the far-north of South Australia, and the introduced Cassia fistula is sometimes grown in the homesteads and town gardens in the same area. It is possible that brief opportunistic breeding could occur in that area if the butterfly made it that far south during its migrations. The butterfly is not biologically suited to the temperate conditions of southern South Australia.
Conservation Status: A migrant. Locally common in the tropical north of Australia.
Threats: No major threats.
Conservation Strategy: None required.
Author: R. GRUND, © copyright 23 April 2000, all rights reserved.
Last update 20 January 2002.