Caper White ButterflyCaper White Butterfly & Caper Bush Caper White Caterpillar and Instar Eggs of the Caper White Butterfly Caper White Butterfly Metamorphosis

There are four stages in the metamorphosis of butterflies, starting from the ovum (egg), larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and then emerging as the adult butterfly. All stages have their perils from predators, food availability, disease, environment and weather conditions.

Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java teutonia), Ellery Creek Big Hole, NT
Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java teutonia) emerging from the chrysalis, Ellery Creek Big Hole, NT
Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java teutonia), Ellery Creek Big Hole, NT
Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java teutonia), Ellery Creek Big Hole, NT

If the caterpillars of the Caper White Butterfly have not completely stripped their host plant bare before the final metamorphosis, they will with any luck, emerge as the adult Caper White Butterfly.

In the following image, the caper bush, also known as Wild Passionfruit (Capparis spinosa var. nummularia), had multiple generation of eggs hatching into caterpillars, that evolved through the instar stages. The bush was eventually totally stripped bare of all leaves.

In the following photos you can see a failed metamorphosis of the Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java teutonia), having died in the chrysalis, before fully emerging.


The following image is a deceased pupa/chrysalis. Unsure whether this is from disease or the hot weather conditions.

Failed metamorphosis of the Belenois java teutonia on the Caper Bush (Capparis spinosa var. nummularia), Alice Springs, NT
Failed metamorphosis of the Belenois java teutonia on the Caper Bush

The cycle of the eggs, caterpillars, butterflies continue when the male mates with the female of the species. Often the male Caper White Butterfly will wait around the chrysalis for the newly emerged female Caper White Butterfly to mate with them.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Pieridae
  • Genus: Belenois
  • Species: B. java
  • Binomial name: Belenois java
  • Subspecies:
    • B. j. java (Indonesia)
    • B. j. savuana (Savu)
    • B. j. teutonia (Australia)
    • B. j. ina (Indonesia)
    • B. j. peristhene (Melanesia)
    • B. j. picata (Melanesia)
    • B. j. micronesia (Fiji)
Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java teutonia), Ellery Creek Big Hole, NT
Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java teutonia), Ellery Creek Big Hole, NT

Caper White ButterflyCaper White Butterfly & Caper Bush Caper White Caterpillar and Instar Eggs of the Caper White Butterfly Caper White Butterfly Metamorphosis

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