Lemon Emigrant
Catopsilia pomona, Fabricius

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Lemon Emigrant

Wingspan 55-80mm. A very variable pan-tropical species. There are two  forms that occur in the island; both are common and easily identifiable but there is considerable variation within each form. Both forms fly together and are not seasonally separated.
More on seasonal variations

Similar species
Mottled Emigrant. This is a much smaller species. The underside is  variable, but is always marked with very fine greenish to reddish brown strigae. There are often a few ocelli at the center of the hindwing. 

Status, distribution and habitat
A common, widely distributed species. It occurs from sea level to 1500 feet elevation. If found above this elevation, it is probably migrating. It is commonest in the dry and intermediate zones of the island and appears in large numbers during the pre-monsoonal periods. It is found everywhere, including urban areas.

It has a strong bouncy flight, similar to that of the Great Orange Tip. Though it flies high up in the canopy of tall trees like the Great Orange Tip, it is more often seen visiting the flowers of small trees and bushes, or even small herbs such as Tridax which is just a foot off ground. It is a generalist and will feed on the nectar of wild flowers or those of introduced species without much discrimination. It is a somewhat shy and wary and will usually fly away on approach. Unlike most other whites, both sexes mud-sip in hot weather. 

Early stages
The larva feeds on a wide range of species belonging to the Leguminoseae. The eggs are laid singly on the tender leaves or freshly emerging vegetative buds of the host plant.

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