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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Wanderer
Pareronia hippia  FABRICIUS, 1787
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe -
Pareronia hippia, Piet van der Poel
Introduction
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 surrounding islands.
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 valeria, ceylanica and hippia, all of which are dark brown, with beautiful translucent pale blue markings.
The females of hippia and 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.
Habitats
This 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.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplant is Capparis ( Capparidaceae ).
Adult behaviour
The 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 while feeding.
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.
 

 

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