Blue-spotted Arab

Blue-spotted Arab / Colotis phisadia phisadia / فراشة العرب ذات البقع الزرقاء

Picture Resource: By Donald Hobern from Copenhagen, Denmark - Colotis phisadiaCC BY 2.0Link

Status: Common

This small-sized butterfly belongs to the family of ‘yellows and whites’ – Pieridae.

It is common in tropical Africa and the middle-eastern Mediterranean region covering Arava, Dead sea area, southern Jordan valley and the En Gedi region.

In Palestine, it is a common species all throughout the region. The Blue spotted Arab is usually seen in arid, desert regions with very little and open vegetation, including rocky areas. The typical habitat of this species is like in the Ein Gedi oasis region.

This butterfly species flies all the year round.

This species has a wing-span of 20mm. The males and females can be separately identified. The males have a pale salmon-pink colour on the upperside of the forewings, and a white background colour on the upperside of the hindwings. The inner base of both the fore and hindwings on the upperside have bluish grey scales. On the upperside of the forewings, towards the middle area is a black patch or marking which meets these scales. The outer margin of both fore and hindwings have a thick black margin while on the forewings, there are rounded light orange-pink spots on the black marginal lining. The underside of the wings has a similar light yellow colour like that of its close relative C. protactus.In females, the markings on the outer margin of the fore and hindwings are shiny brown in colour, instead of black. Also the females have a much paler yellow colour on the wings’ underside.Both males and females have a round black spot on the underside of the forewings.

The larval food plant is Toothbrush tree (Salvadora persica). Breeding occurs during the summer season and the eggs are laid in groups on the host plant. The eggs are bottle-shaped with deep cut lines on the  surface and are initially white in colour and later turn to pale blue. The newly hatched larvae are light green in colour with two black spots and a shining white marking on the back side of the head region. As the larvae grow older, the black spots disappear while the mark becomes more prominent and also develops a black lining around it. 

IUCN conservation status – Still not completely assessed