The Painted Jezebel Delias hyparete is a medium sized butterfly of the Family Pieridae found in Asia.
Like many species from the Pieridae family, this is a medium sized insect with white as the dominant colour and some degree of black on its wing veins. It cannot be mistaken for any other butterfly due to its bright colours and flight pattern, which has been described as a nonchalant, graceful and slow flapping of the wings. The reason for this 'devil may care' attitude is its toxicity that was accumulated during its earlier stages as a caterpillar. As a warning to predators of this fact, it displays red and yellow on its underside hindwings.
Delias Hyparete metarete (Painted Jezebel)
The genus Delias, represented in Singapore by one other species that is most likely extinct; ie Delias pasithoe parthenope, are lofty fliers, usually seen at tree canopy level. However, they do come down occasionally to feed on nectaring flowers. While the females of this genus are rarely seen, females of Painted Jezebel are less elusive. She can be easily differentiated from the whiter males.
A frequent visitor to open woods and gardens, this species has been spotted flying in all sorts of weather, even when the sky turns dark and menacing. I have chanced upon two individuals chasing each other during a bout of heavy drizzle. On other occasions, it has being spotted on the wing even at dusk. Seasonally common at elevations up to 4,000 feet, it is by far the most abundant on the plains.
Eggs are laid many at one go, usually more than a dozen, by the female on the underside of a leaf of the hostplant, Dendropthoe pentandra (Loranthaceae) which is a parasite to trees. They are creamy yellow and slightly elongated and are placed in an elliptical pattern about the size of a twenty-cent coin. The gregarious hairy larva has an overall dirty yellow body with a black head. Throughout its five instars, it retains this coloration. Feeding is done together as a group on the upper surface of a leaf. As the time of pupation approaches, each caterpillar will break away from the group to find a secure place to pupate. Its pupa is yellow with shining black spots and stumpy spikes. It is attached to either a twig or the under surface of a leaf and is suspended by a very fine girdle.
This is a truly beautiful macro. Both your subjects, the butterfly and the flower is special and very eye-catching. I like the very rich colour of the flower as well as the sunlight that brightens up all the colours to the best. Thanks for sharing a pleasant and most colourful image. Best regards.