Common Jezebel: A Kaleidoscope of Colors

Common Jezebel

The Common Jezebel Butterfly, also known as Delias Eucharis, is a medium-sized butterfly commonly found throughout south and southeast Asia, including Nepal. It thrives in a variety of environments such as tropical and temperate forests, open woodlands, forest edges, stream banks, meadows, and even urban areas with dense tree populations. These butterflies mainly feed on nectar from different flowers, especially those found on Loranthaceae plants.

Males have white upper sides with black veins, while the underside features black-edged veins and a yellow hue. The hindwings have a more yellow tone with black bands. Females look similar but exhibit broader black edging on the veins and horizontal bands across both their forewings and hindwings.

These butterflies typically fly high in the forest canopy but will come down to feed on flower nectar. Their dull upperside and bright underside coloration helps deter birds due to the toxins acquired by larvae from host plants. When resting, Common Jezebels close their wings to display their vibrant underside colors. Females can often be seen flying leisurely around trees searching for suitable plants to lay eggs. Both males and females are active in the mornings visiting flowers on shrubs. This species breeds all year long.

The female butterfly lays clusters of 10-20 small white eggs on the leaves of host plants. After hatching, green caterpillars with black stripes emerge and grow until they pupate within three weeks. The brown pupa hangs by a silken thread for about ten days before transforming into an adult butterfly with bright colors and a wingspan between 6.5 and 8.5 cm. These butterflies live for approximately two weeks.

In Nepal, the ideal time to observe the Common Jezebel Butterfly is during spring (March-May) and fall (September-November). These favorable seasons provide warm, sunny weather that promotes greater butterfly activity.