Butterflies of Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo
Lesser Gull
Cepora nadina andersoni  DISTANT, 1885
subfamily - PIERINAE
Cepora nadina andersoni, Bukit Tapah, West Malaysia  Adrian Hoskins
The genus Cepora is closely allied to Appias and comprises of 20 species. The commonest and most widespread species is nerissa which is distributed from India to Bali. The genus is centred on south-east Asia, with the majority of species being found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
In West Malaysia there are 3 species - nadina, iudith and nerissa. On the upperside all 3 species are white, heavily marked with dark brown on the veins, apex and wing margins. These markings are heaviest in the females, which also have broader and more rounded forewings. In iudith the upperside hindwings are flushed with brilliant yellow, whereas in nadina there is just a faint trace of yellowish in the tornal area.
The gorgeous chrome yellow on the underside of nadina is present in both sexes but only in the wet season form of the species. The dry season form is a plainer but still very beautiful creature, with a more greenish-yellow hue.
Cepora nadina occurs in Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, south China, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and the Andaman islands.
In West Malaysia this species is found in open areas in primary and secondary forest at altitudes between about 200-600 meters.
The caterpillar feeds on Capparis, and when fully grown is green and covered with small tubercles each of which bears a short white hair.
Adult behaviour
This extremely handsome species is scarce in Malaysia, and normally seen only in one's and two's.
Males are strongly attracted to urine and seepages where they join aggregations of Appias, Eurema and Graphium. If disturbed they invariably settle on nearby foliage, but are nervous, so while the Eurema and Graphium tend to return to feed quite quickly, nadina holds back until it senses that any threat of danger has long passed.


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