African Migrant Catopsilia florella (Fabricius, 1775)

Superfamily: Papilionoidea Family: Pieridae Status: Vagrant to Madeira


A medium-large butterfly with similar colours to the Brimstone though opposite colours between the sexes, with males being greenish-white on the uppersides and females brighter yellow. Both sexes have a postdiscal black spot visible from the uppersides.

Catopsilia florella Caterpillars

Its larval colouring depends on plant parts ingested: if on the leaves it is green but if on the yellow flowers it is yellow. It is speckled with tiny black dots and have a pale line along the spiracles.

Host & Food Plants

Its prefered host plants are legumes from the Cassia genus, most introduced as decorative plants, though in Madeira it was also seen feeding on Senna and Sesbania plants (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006).

Habitat & behaviour

In the Atlantic Islands it prefers coastal areas with cultivated fields or gardens though its natural habitats are savannah, flowery mountainsides and grasslands.

Distribution in the Atlantic Islands of Macaronesia:

Occurs in Madeira Island, Canary and Cape Verde Islands (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006)


Regional status according to Aguiar & Karsholt, 2008: Migrant butterfly to Madeira
Regional status according to Wakeham-Dawson et al., 2001: Uncommon, resident migrant
Status according to the European Red List of Butterflies, 2010: Not Applicable (species of marginal occurrence or introduced to Europe after AD 1500).

Join Madeira Wildlife Monthly Newsletter. All the updates on your email every month.