Western dotted border Mylothris chloris, copyright Charles J. Sharp.

Belongs within: Rhopalocera.
Contains: Aporia, Euchloe, Anthocharis, Pareronia, Hebomoia, Colias, Terias, Catopsilia, Eurema, Appias, Belenois, Cepora, Pieris, Delias, Leptosia.

The Pieridae are a cosmopolitan family of butterflies, including the whites and yellows, with their vernacular names referring to the predominant coloration of most species. Members of the subfamily Coliadinae have the humeral vein in the hind wing greatly reduced or absent and larvae that feed mostly on legumes, while species of Pierinae have the humeral vein long and their larvae feed primarily on Brassicales, Santalales and Euphorbiaceae (Nielsen & Common 1991). The Dismorphiinae, mimic sulphurs, are a primarily Neotropical group of butterflies that commonly mimic other, toxic butterflies such as Heliconius species.

Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Medium sized; maxillary palps absent; labial palps ascending, appressed to frons; epiphysis absent, fore leg fully developed, tibiae spined, spurs 0-2-2, tarsal claws bifid; fore wing usually lacking at least one branch of R, one anal vein; hind wing with humeral vein present, vestigial, or absent, Sc+R1 diverging from Rs at base, two anal veins, wing scales containing pterin pigments. Egg vertically fusiform, with vertical and horizontal ribs; laid singly or in groups. Larva cylindrical, with numerous short, fine secondary setae; crochets bi- or triordinal; sometimes gregarious. Pupa angular, often with spines or ridges; attached by cremaster and central silken girdle.

    |--Pseudopontia Plötz 1870 F55 [Pseudopontiinae NC91]
    |    `--P. paradoxa (Felder 1870) F55
    |--Dismorphia [Dismorphiinae] GE05
    |    |--D. albania (Bates 1846) FS54
    |    |--D. amphiona GE05
    |    |--D. fortunata (Lucas 1854) FS54
    |    `--D. nemesis (Latreille 1813) S55
    |--Coliadinae PP02
    |    |--Colias F55
    |    |--Terias FS54
    |    |--Catopsilia PP02
    |    `--Eurema PP02
    `--Pierinae J03
         |--Appias PP02
         |--Belenois PP02
         |--Cepora PP02
         |--Leuciacria J03
         |--Pieris F55
         |--Delias NC91
         |--Leptosia B00
         |--Pereute Herrich-Schäffer 1867 B00
         |--Leodonta Butler 1870 B00
         |--Catasticta Butler 1870 B00
         |    `--C. teutamis (Hewitson 1860) F55
         |--Archonias Hübner 1827–1831 B00
         |    `--A. bellona S55
         |         |--A. b. bellona S55
         |         `--A. b. phaloreia Fruhstorfer 1907 S55
         |--Elodina Felder & Felder 1865 B00
         |    |--E. angulipennis (Lucas 1852) B00
         |    |--E. claudia De Baar & Hancock 1993 B00
         |    |--E. padusa (Hewitson 1853) B12
         |    |--E. parthia (Hewitson 1853) B00
         |    |--E. perdita Miskin 1889 B00
         |    |--E. queenslandica De Baar & Hancock 1993 B00
         |    `--E. walkeri Butler 1898 [=E. perdita walkeri; incl. E. perdita tongura Tindlae 1923] B00
         `--Mylothris Hübner 1819 B00
              |--M. bernice Hewitson 1866 F55
              |--M. chloris (Fabricius 1775) F55
              |--M. fernandina Schultze 1914 F55
              |--M. nubila Möschler 1883 F55
              |--M. ochracea Aurivillius 1895 F55
              |--M. poppaea (Cramer 1777) F55
              |--M. rueppellii (Koch 1865) [=Pieris rueppellii] F55
              `--M. spica Möschler 1883 F55

Pieridae incertae sedis:
  Artogeia rapae BWT03
  Phoebis S55
    |--P. argante (Fabricius 1775) S55
    |--P. philea (Linnaeus 1767) S55
    |--P. sennae FS54
    |    |--P. s. sennae FS54
    |    `--P. s. eubule (Linnaeus 1767) FS54
    `--P. statira (Cramer 1777) [=Aphrissa statira] S55
  Ascia monuste (Linné 1764) FS54
  Melete isandra Boisduval 1836 FS54
  Hesperocharis S55
    |--‘Pieris’ avivolans Butler 1865 B66
    |--H. graphites B66
    |--H. hirlanda [=Cunizza hirlanda] S55
    |    |--H. h. hirlanda S55
    |    `--H. h. ninguida Fruhstorfer 1907 S55
    `--H. marchalii S55
         |--H. m. marchalii S55
         `--H. m. coloe Fruhstorfer 1907 S55
  Anteos menippe (Hübner 1806) S55
  Baltia Moore 1878 F55
    `--B. shawi [incl. B. shawi ab. melanotica Bang-Haas 1937] F55
  Mesapia Gray 1856 F55
    `--M. peloria F55
         |--M. p. peloria F55
         `--M. p. grayi Bang-Haas 1934 F55
  Aporia F55
  Phrissura Butler 1870 F55
    `--P. aegis (Felder 1861) [=Pieris aegis, Tachyris aegis] F55
         |--P. a. aegis F55
         |--P. a. caepia Fruhstorfer 1910 F55
         `--P. a. illana (Felder 1862) F55
  Saletara Distant 1885 F55
    |--S. liberia F55
    |    |--S. l. liberia F55
    |    `--S. l. eliada Hewitson 1861 [=Tachyris eliada] F55
    `--S. panda F55
         |--S. p. panda F55
         |--S. p. distanti Butler 1898 F55
         |--S. p. erebina Fruhstorfer 1900 F55
         |--S. p. martia Fruhstorfer 1910 F55
         `--S. p. nathalia (Felder 1862) [=Pieris nathalia] F55
  Dixeia Talbot 1932 F55
    |--D. capricornus (Ward 1871) [=Pieris capricornus] F55
    |--D. cebron (Ward 1871) [=Pieris cebron] F55
    `--D. rubrobasalis F55
         |--D. r. rubrobasalis F55
         `--D. r. nitida (Aurivillius 1898) [=Pieris rubrobasalis var. nitida] F55
  Synchloe Hübner 1818 F55
    `--S. dubernardi F55
         |--S. d. dubernardi F55
         `--S. d. bromkampi Bang-Haas 1938 F55
  Pontia Fabricius 1807 F55
    |--P. daplidice (Linnaeus 1758) [=Leucochloe daplidice] F55
    |--P. freyeri GE05
    |--P. glauconome Klug 1829 [=Leucochloe glauconome] F55
    |--P. nina WM66
    `--P. niobe Wallace & Moore 1866 WM66
  Euchloe F55
  Anthocharis F55
  Colotis Hübner 1820 F55
    |  i. s.: C. daira F55
    |           |--C. d. daira F55
    |           `--C. d. nouna (see below for synonymy) F55
    |         C. evippe (Linnaeus 1758) [=Teracolus evippe] F55
    `--C. (Madais Swinhoe 1910) F55
         `--C. (M.) fausta [incl. Teracolus fausta f. beckeri Bang-Haas 1927, C. fausta f. beckeri] F55
  Nepheronia Butler 1870 F55
    `--N. argia (Fabricius 1775) (see below for synonymy) F55
  Pareronia F55
  Hebomoia F55
  Gandaca Moore 1906 F55
    `--G. harina [=Terias harina] F55
         |--G. h. harina F55
         |--G. h. batanea Fruhstorfer 1911 F55
         |--G. h. gardineri Fruhstorfer 1910 F55
         |--G. h. mindanaensis Fruhstorfer 1910 F55
         `--G. h. palawanica Fruhstorfer 1910 F55
  Stolopsyche libytheoides GE05
  Oligodonta florissantensis GE05
  Coliates proserpina GE05
  Mylothrites pluto GE05
  Eucheira socialis GE05
  Leptidea reali Reisinger 1989 JP05
  Leucophasia sinapis [incl. L. sinapis var. amurensis] P01
  Rhodocera P01
    |--R. rhamni P01
    `--R. wallichii (Doubleday 1848) [=Gonepteryx wallichii; incl. G. urania Butler 1866] B66

Colotis daira nouna [incl. Teracolus daira nouna auresiaca Stauder 1913, C. daira nouna f. biskrensis Blachier 1908, T. daira nouna pyroleuca Stauder 1913, C. daira nouna f. pyroleuca] F55

Nepheronia argia (Fabricius 1775) [=Eronia argia; incl. N. argia f. poppea (Donovan 1824), E. argia ab. poppea] F55

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BWT03] Bowie, M., S. Wratten & J. Tylianakis. 2003. An introduction to entomological research on Kowhai Farm—the Heinz Wattie’s Organic Farm at Lincoln University. Weta 25: 18–23.

[B00] Braby, M. F. 2000. Butterflies of Australia: their identification, biology and distribution vol. 1. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood (Victoria).

[B12] Braby, M. F. 2012. The butterflies of El Questro Wilderness Park, with remarks on the taxonomy of the Kimberley fauna, Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 27 (2): 161–175.

[B66] Butler, A. G. 1866. Corrections and addenda to certain papers on Lepidoptera published during the years 1865–66; with additional notes on some of the species described. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 451–458.

[F55] Franz, E. 1955. Die Typen und Typoide des Natur-Museums Senckenberg, 16). Insecta, Lepidoptera, Pieridae. Senckenbergiana Biologica 36: 339–367.

[FS54] Franz, E., & H. Schröder. 1954. Tagfalter (Lep. Rhopalocera) aus El Salvador. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35: 75–87.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[J03] Jong, R. de. 2003. Are there butterflies with Gondwanan ancestry in the Australian region? Invertebrate Systematics 17: 143–156.

[JP05] Jungmann, E., & U. Poller. 2005. Neunachweise und Wiederfunde für die Schmetterlingsfauna (Insecta; Lepidoptera) des Altenburger Landes. Mauritiana 19 (2): 317–326.

[NC91] Nielsen, E. S., & I. F. B. Common. 1991. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 817–915. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[PP02] Patrick, B., & H. Patrick. 2002. Butterflies of Fiji. Weta 24: 5–12.

[P01] Pável, J. 1901. Lepkék [Lepidopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 171–177. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[S55] Schröder, H. 1955. Eine Falter-Ausbeute aus dem westlichen Bolivien. (Ins. Lepid. Rhopal.) Senckenbergiana Biologica 36: 329–338.

[WM66] Wallace, A. R., & F. Moore. 1866. List of lepidopterous insects collected at Takow, Formosa, by Mr. R. Swinhoe. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 355–365.
Last updated: 22 August 2017.

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