Pieridae

The Pieridae are a large family of butterflies with about 76 genera containing approximately 1,100 species, mostly from tropical Africa and Asia.[1] Most pierid butterflies are white, yellow or orange in coloration, often with black spots. The pigments that give the distinct colouring to these butterflies are derived from waste products in the body and are a characteristic of this family.[2] It is believed that the name "butterfly" originated from a member of this family the Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni which was called the "butter-coloured fly" by early British naturalists.[2] The sexes usually differ, often in the pattern or number of the black markings. The larvae (caterpillars) of a few of these species, such as Pieris brassicae and Pieris rapae, commonly seen in gardens, feed on brassicas, and are notorious agricultural pests. Males of many species exhibit gregarious mud-puddling behavior when they may imbibe salts from moist soils.[1] Classification The Pieridae have the radial vein on the forewing with 3 or 4 branches and rarely with 5 branches. The fore legs are well developed in both sexes, unlike in the Nymphalidae, and the tarsal claws are bifid unlike in the Papilionidae.[3] Like the Papilionidae, Pieridae also have their pupae held at an angle by a silk girdle, but running at the first abdominal segment unlike the thoracic girdle seen in the Papilionidae. [edit]Subfamilies The Pieridae are generally divided into the following four subfamilies: Dismorphiinae (6 genera) Mostly Neotropical, this group includes several mimetical species. The host plants are in the family Faba

eae.[1] Pierinae (55 genera) Whites, Yellow, Orange-tips, many of these species are strongly migratory. Host plants are in the families Capparidaceae, Brassicaceae, Santalaceae, and Loranthaceae.[1] Coliadinae (14 genera) Sulphurs or Yellows, many of these species are sexually dimorphic. Some, such as Colias, have wing patterns that are visible only under ultraviolet.[1] Pseudopontiinae The sole species in this subfamily, Pseudopontia paradoxa, is endemic to West Africa. According to the molecular phylogenetic study of Braby et al. (2006), sister group relationships among Pieridae subfamilies are: ((Dismorphiinae+Pseudopontiinae)+(Coliadinae+Pierinae)). In biological classification, family (Latin: familia) is a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the prefix sub-: subfamily (Latin: subfamilia). a taxonomic unit, a taxon, in that rank. In that case the plural is families (Latin familiae) Example: Walnuts and hickories belong to Juglandaceae, the walnut family. What does and does not belong to each family is determined by a taxonomist. Similarly for the question if a particular family should be recognized at all. Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists each taking a different position. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing or recognizing a family. Some taxa are accepted almost universally, while others are recognised only rarely.