Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
© Piet van der Poel
There are 13 species in the genus
Pareronia, 9 of which occur in the
Oriental region, and 4 east of the Wallace Line on New Guinea and
There has been a
great deal of confusion in the past regarding the taxonomy of this
genus, due to the similarities between the males of
ceylanica and hippia, all of
which are dark brown, with beautiful translucent pale blue markings.
The females of
valeria are both are similar in pattern to the males, but the
dark brown areas are more extensive. In the female of
hippia the translucent blue markings
are replaced by a chalky greyish-white. In contrast the female of
valeria has a flush of bright yellow at
the base of the wings, and is considered to be a Batesian mimic of
the toxic Parantica aspasia ( Danainae
) which flies in the same area.
The only species
occuring in Sri Lanka is the endemic ceylanica.
There is a degree of overlap in the ranges of the other 2 species -
hippia ( formerly known as
anais ) being distributed from India to
south China; and valeria being found
from Burma to the Philippines, and south through peninsular Malaysia
to Sumatra and Borneo.
species occurs in a wide range of habitats including beach
hinterlands, forest edge habitats, parks and gardens, at altitudes
between sea level and about 500m.
larval foodplant is Capparis (
butterflies are usually seen singly, and are nomadic in behaviour,
covering long distances in search of foodplants and nectar sources.
Both sexes visit a wide range of flowering bushes. They tend to stay
at each bloom for several seconds, and hold their wings half open
In hazy sunshine,
or when temperatures are cool
in early morning or late afternoon, both sexes like to bask on low
foliage, with their wings fully outspread.