Migration of Anaphaeis java (Caper White) in Australia

Kuniomi Matsumoto langprac at gol.com
Sat Feb 6 10:53:41 EST 1999

Hello everyone,

It's a little bit old story. I observed what seems to be a migratory
flight of _Anaphaeis java teutonia_ when I lived in a suburb of Melbourne in
Australia . It was on November 19, 1984, and I think the time was around
4 p.m. I was on the way back from a local high school where I was working
then to a station near by (about 30 km  from the center of Melbourne).
I noticed the butterflies flying from the east to the west at the rate of 3
to 4 a minute (not very accurate) soon after I left the school. The flight
was still continuing when I reached the station after about 30 minutes.
Both males and females were involved in the flight.

I have the following references, and there are some very interesting
comments concerning the migratory flights of the species and the food
plants. But there are still some questions remaining to be answered. Since
those books are 18 to 28 years old, I am wondering if anything new is
known concerning the life history and the behavior of the species.

1 Butterflies of Australia by I. F. B. Common & D. E. Waterhouse
2 Butterflies of South Australia by R. H. Fisher
3 Australian Butterflies by C. McCubbin

My questions are as follows:
1 Are the migratory flights of this butterfly restricted in the coastal area
Southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia? Are
there any record from Northern Queensland or from the dry inland? How about
on the west coast?
2 Is this kind of migratory flight of this species recorded from any other
3 What boggles my mind is that the butterflies I observed then seemed
fresh, and didn't look like they covered more than 500 km from the nearest
source in wild (according to Common and Waterhouse wild Capparis species do
normally grow farther south than about the latitude of Newcastle). Does it
that the butterflies I observed originated from cultivated Capparis species?
4 Are there any proper food plants other than Capparis species?

Would anyone please enlighten me on this interesting migratory butterfly?
Thanks in advance.


Kuniomi Matsumoto
3-3-5-1210 Hikarigaoka,
Nerima-ku, Tokyo 179-0072
E-mail: langprac at gol.com
tel./fax 3938-8400
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