Hebomoia glaucippe & H. leucippe
26x19x6cm frame (black)
Hebomoia glaucippe, the Great Orange Tip, and Hebomoia leucippe, the Brimstone Wing, belong to the Pieridae family. H. glaucippe is found over much of South and Southeast Asia, while H. leucippe is endemic to the Moluccas and Peleng in Indonesia. The Hebomoia genus contains only these two strong-flying species.
Hebomoia glaucippe is primarily a lowland and mid-elevation species, and is adapted to a very wide variety of habitats ranging from the arid scrubby grasslands of India to the tropical rainforests of Borneo. In temperate Asia it is mainly found in the warmer valleys.
Males spend long periods resting on the ground, where their cryptic pale "dead-leaf" underside pattern affords them excellent camouflage. Periodically they take flight, patrolling back and forth in search of females. In warm overcast weather they will sometimes bask with wings half open on the ground or on foliage, but at all times remain very alert and difficult to approach.
Both sexes visit flowers frequently, preferring Lantana and other bushy plants. In common with other heavy species such as Swallowtails and Birdwings, the Great Orange-tip when feeding tends to keep its wings constantly fluttering to support its weight.
H. glaucippe uses two interesting defences (H. leucippe might well too, but information is scarce) during its life: when a caterpillar it resembles the head of a vine snake, dark green and sleek with a pointed nose and eye-spots; as an adult the wings contain glacontryphan-M, a peptide toxin belonging to the family contryphan.