Jezebels with gorgeous warning colours

These delightfully coloured, red, yellow and black Delias species – such as the Red-spot Jezebel (Delias descombesi descombesi) (above) – are widely thought to be poisonous, or at least unpalatable, and the colour patterns are therefore aposematic, i.e. a warning signal to potential predators. I was surprised therefore, to discover that until recently, the evidence…

Courting Jezebels

I spent some time observing and photographing Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete indica) butterflies feeding and courting on Bougainvillea flowers in Thailand. These beautiful and very common butterflies are often seen flitting around the tops of trees, coming down to feed on flowering plants later in the day (1, 2). Their ubiquity does not detract from their beauty.…