Delias carstensziana  Rothschild 1916 

Delias carstensziana carstensziana
Wamena, Papua
12 August 2015
Picture by Nigel Voaden

Subspecies and range of Delias carstensziana :

. carstensziana Rothschild 1916 - Snow Mountains, Central Mts, Baliem, Weylands, Papua

         form alcicornis Roepke 1955 (predominant in Baliem Valley)

inexpecta Morinaka & Nakazawa 1999 - Enga & West Sepik Provinces, Mt Hagen, Papua New Guinea

starensis Lachlan 2000 - Korupun, Star Mountains, Papua & PNG








Notes on Delias carstensziana : 

This is not a common species, found mainly in the remote mountainous region of the foothills of  Mt. Carstensz and surrounding mountains in the Snow Mountain Range. The recent discovery of the new subspecies D.c.inexpecta raises the possibility of the species being found elsewhere along the main central ranges of Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea.

It is similar to Delias gilliardi of Papua New Guinea, and it may be assumed that they were once the same species, but diverged due to the  distance between their ranges.
The form alcicornis is lighter in colouration than the nominate form.

Ssp. inexpecta is very rare in collection. 

Females of all subspecies are very rare in collection too. Congrats to Mehd Halaouate for this wonderful live shot of a female ! 

Original Description - Rothschild (1915, Report of the B.O.U. and Wollaston Exp. Lep.)- "Male: Nearest to catisa Jord. in pattern, and in shape and size to leucobalia Jord. Upperside: Fore wing brownish black, an oval creamy-white patch occupying lower two-thirds of cell, a post median oblique band of 3 creamy-white spots and a similar subapical spot, subbasal half of wing below cell cream-white, base of wing brown-black powdered with grey scales. Hind wing, base brown black, with grey scales, subbasal three-quarters of wing cream-white, abdominal fold golden-yellow, white spots on termen at end of veins in both wings. Underside : Fore wing, basal half obliquely, except costa, bright orange; outer half brown-black, a postmedian strongly oblique band of 3 large spots yellow, 2 subapical spots white with orange streaks; the terminal white spots run inwards along the veins some 2 millimetres, their inner half being orange. Hind wing deep black-brown, basal one-third of costa broadly white edged with orange, an irregular jagged white patch very wide reaches from costa one-sixth from base obliquely across the wing to beyond the cell between veins 3 and 7, this patch is edged with orange; 2 orange spots below cell and 2 orange lines from base to tornus along abdominal fold, a submarginal band of large helmet-shaped white spots and a marginal row of pale yellow spots, veins beyond cell orange. One specimen has the cell on fore wing above entirely white and the median spot of oblique band much enlarged and joined to white area of cell; another above has the postmedian spots almost obsolete and ground colour intense black".

Female: Description not available.