Catopsilia pomona pomona

Fabricius 1775 - The Lemon Emigrant

Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan.

This is a very variable species with many named forms (f.). Here, there are two male forms, f. alcmeone and f. hilaria, and five female forms, f. pomona, f. crocale, f, jugurtha, f. catilla and f. nivescens. Of theses, f. alcmeone is the commonest male form, and f. crocale is the commonest female form for most of the year. However, during the months of May- July, f. jugurtha appears to be more common. The remaining forms are present for most of the year, but in lesser quantities. There have been some experiments done to try and explain the frequency of the different forms, and there is some justification in suggesting that the length of daylight hours may have a part to play, but it is unlikely to be the only factor. Population density and temperature may also be of relevence.

This butterfly displays very strong migratory tendencies, and often large numbers can be seen over the sea between Koh Samui and Koh Phangan (Also Samui and the Mainland).

This is one of the commonest butterflies to be seen here, and can be found anywhere except in the deepest forest. They love to visit the flowers of Lantana plants in gardens.

Flight Period



50 - 70mm

Early Stages

Fully known. More detailed life history information is available from the following resources: S. Igarishi - Life Histories of Asian Butterflies, Volume.1 , Page 292.

Larval Foodplant

Cassia sp. and Butea frondosa


Sri Lanka, throughout S E Asia through to the Solomon Islands. Also, distinct races are to be found on Madagascar and Mauritius. The butterfly is, however, absent from mainland Africa.