The glaucippe butterfly, or great orange-tip is very active on bright, sunny days. Whilst the upper side of the butterfly exhibits orange, white and black colours, the undersides of their wings are mostly a mottled brown. When resting with their wings closed, glaucippe butterflies have the appearance of a fallen brown leaf, which it uses as a form of camoflouge.
The wings of glaucippe have been found to contain glacontryphan-M. This is a peptide toxin which is more commonly found in the poisonous venom produced by cone snails. The glaucippe uses this toxin as a defence against predators, producing a bad taste in the mouth of it’s hunters.
As a caterpillar, this species resembles the green vine snake. If disturbed, this species can even spit green fluid to warn off predators. An orangey-red and blue marking on the caterpillar’s head resembles the eyes of a snake. As a result, the caterpillar’s head appears larger and more intimidating than it actually is.
It has been noted that orange is not a common colour in the butterfly family. For collectors, the vibrant wingtips of this species are striking and help it to stand out in collections.
Adult glaucippe butterflies have varied wingspans ranging between 80 and 100mm.
Our framed glaucippe butterfly specimens have been sourced responsibly. Find out more about where we source our butterflies and moths from.