Black Jezebel (Delias nigrina)
Appearance: Upperside of both sexes white with black edges and wing tips. Underside mainly black with characteristic red band on the hind wing and yellow patches near the fore wing tips. Similar to the Imperial Jezebel (Delias harpalyce).
Wingspan: 5.5 cm
Season: Several generations all year round.
Range: Along the east coast of Australia; from Cape York to eastern VIC. Migrants occasionally reach inland areas of QLD, NSW, and the ACT.
Habitat: Rainforest and moist coastal forest; also in suburban areas.
Photo: Lane Cove NP, NSW, 23/02/2008.
As with many Delias species, Black Jezebels spend most of their time flying high up in the tree tops and only occasionally descend down to the ground to rest or feed from flowers, making it difficult to observe this otherwise common species. The butterflies are migratory and can be very common around Sydney in some years, in particular in autumn.
The Black Jezebel is similar to other species of Jezebel, in particular the Imperial Jezebel (Delias harpalyce) which can be found in eastern NSW, VIC, and the ACT. At closer inspection, however, both species can be readily distinguished by details in the pattern on the underside of the wings.