rare Delias callista Delias butterflies

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Delias, rare tropical Pieridae

Delias butterflies, also called jezebel butterflies, are a fascinating genus of Pieridae. They live in SE Asia and Oceania and represent the largest genus in rhopalocera (butterflies). In mainland Asia, most species are rather common except the recently discovered Delias vietnamensis pequini in Cambodia, some elusive subspecies of Delias orphne in Malaysia or the always hard-to-find Delias agoranis in Thailand. Some species like Delias hyparete are among the most common butterflies in SE Asia. They fly peacefully in gardens and parks. 

New Guinea : the paradise for Delias butterflies.

On the island of New Guinea, the number of Delias species has exploded with moth than 150 species flying there. This is due to evolution in the New Guinean mountains, where nearly each separated mountain hosts different Delias species. As in SE Asia, some species are easy to find like Delias microsticha or Delias bothwelli but some are extremely rare in collection like Delias neeltje from the Central Mountains, Delias thompsoni from the Wandammen Mountains or Delias nigropunctata from Arfak. There have been very few entomological expeditions in New Guinea and most of them have been undertaken in the same area in Papua (Wamena, Arfak...). Some places like the Foja Mounts or the Wandammen Mountains must still host several undescribed Delias species.

What is the value of a Delias butterfly ?

Well it all depends of its rarity in collection and its availability on the market. For example, organizing a scientific expedition to the Foja Mountains to catch a Delias cumanau would mean at least $5,000 per person. This species being known by less than 5 specimens, the worth of a Delias cumanau on the market would reach a crazy amounts of money. Some rare Delias like Delias elusiva or Delias schuppi could also be found above $10,000. Same for the extinct Delias species like Delias bosnikiana or Delias maudei. On the contrary, a common Delias caroli would be found around $2. So a Delias collection can be very cheap or very expensive, it all depends of which species you are looking for. Some very pretty Delias like Delias luctuosa can be found around $10. To find more common Delias species, have a look to the bottom of our selection. 


What is the most beautiful Delias species ?

That's a hard question. It's all matter of taste but we are sure you will love the stunning Delias ellipsis from New Caledonia with its unique pattern. Delias callista from New Guinea and Delias prouti from Buru are also often seen as the nicest Delias species. We also love the unique pattern of Delias gilliardi from PNG. We are sure you will find several splendid Delias on this page. 

How to find a Delias here ? 

It is very simple. Have a look to our Delias catalogue, click on the Delias specimen you like and we will automatically redirect you towards a secured website where you could get it. If you have any question about the worth of a Delias species or about a Delias supplier, feel free to send us an email. We would be happy to help, and Delias is one of our specialty.