Butterflies of Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo
Malay Puffin
Appias cardena  HEWITSON, 1861
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe -

Appias cardena perakana, Bukit Tapah, West Malaysia  Adrian Hoskins
There is a certain amount of conjecture among entomologists regarding the classification of Appias. Some consider that the South American species drusilla, and the African sylvia and lasti belong in this genus, while others prefer to place them in Glutophrissa. Disregarding those, there are about
23-28 species that are currently accepted as members of Appias, comprising 7-8 species from the Australian region, and 16-20 from the Oriental region. The estimates vary because of uncertainties about the status of some taxa which are variously regarded as either true species or subspecies.
Appias cardena is one of the 9 species found in peninsular Malaysia. Like most other Appias species it is white on the upperside, with dark markings on the outer area of the wings. The dark veins on the underside distinguish it from other members of the genus.
This species is normally found in disturbed forest edge habitats at altitudes from 0-500m but during migrations it will fly over mountain passes as high as 2000 metres.
I have no data regarding cardena, but the larvae of other Appias species, e.g. lyncida and albina are green, with a pair of anal points. They feed on Capparis.
Adult behaviour
Males are generally encountered singly, among aggregations of Pierinae and Leptocircini, imbibing mineralised moisture from damp sand in semi-shaded conditions in open forest. Females are seen less frequently but can sometimes be found nectaring at flowers along forest paths or roadsides.


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