Common Pierrot
Castalius rosimon, Fabricius

Home | Ecological zones | Butterflies | Larval food plants | Nectar food plants | Dragonflies | Moths | Other insects | Links | Sightings | Glossary |


Male Common Pierrot

Description
A small Lycaenid with a wingspan of 25-30 mm. The sexes are very similar. The underside of the wings are white with black spots and streaks. The base of the upper side of both  wings is a beautiful shiny pale blue, being more more extensive in the male. The submarginal bands above are much wider in the female than in the male. However, there is great seasonal variation in the size and intensity of these black markings: the wet season forms have larger and darker markings than those from the dry season.

Similar species
Butler's Spotted Pierrot - Differs in the following characteristics: (a)  the underside black markings are uniformly distributed on the wings; (b) the two underside submarginal rows of spots are  uniform in size and equidistant from each other; and lastly (c) the front margin of the forewing is much less curved than in the Common Pierrot.

Status, distribution and habitat
It is widely distributed and common below 3000 feet, though stragglers have been recorded at 4000 feet elevation. It loves full sun and prefers open spaces and scrub jungle, but is just as common in cultivated areas along hedges and fences, and home gardens with overgrown scrub with interspersed trees.  It is the commonest of all Pierrots in the island.

Habits
It flies relatively fast and low to the ground, and the males frequently settle on roads and gravel patches. It can then be easily identified by its underside markings. It is a nectar lover and comes readily to a wide range of plants with small flowers, and once settled moves about a great deal in a slow deliberate manner. It is not a frequent visitor to bird droppings like the Angled Pierrot. 

Early stages
The larvae feed on Ziziphus sp.

Previous  |  Next

Danaidae | Satyridae | Amathusiidae | Nymphalidae | Acraeidea | Libytheidae | Riodinidae | Lycaenidae | Pieridae | Papilionidae | Hesperidae