Common and Water Geranium Bronze Butterflies

Both the Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) and the Water Bronze (Cacyreus tespis tespis) are butterflies from the  family Lycaenidae. They are both small, low-flying butterflies, with the undersides a ground-colour brown, irrorated with white. The fore-wing has a series of darker brown spots edged with white. The hind wing underside is marbled with brown, white and black and the upper side is either blue or shiny brown. The eggs laid  resemble the shape of pills, with a concave top and a pattern of ribs in involuted curves, radiating from the micropyl, forming triangles and quadrangles. There are small knobs where the ribs cross. Their lava are slug-shaped and are green or pale pink. You would find the pupa beneath the debris of the food plant, in this case either Lamiaceae (mint plants) or Geraniaceae (geraniums, pelargoniums).

Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli)
The male size ranges from 15-23 mm whilst the female ranges from 18-27 mm.

  • Their distribution is very widespread, probably originally in the south-western parts of South Africa, but have spread to the rest of the country and even up to Europe. Found in forests, savanna, grasslands from Western Cape to Eastern Cape, along the coast, along the Drakensberg at varying altitudes and into Natal, Freestate, Lesotho,  Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West Province.
  • Their habitats are parks, gardens, gullies, mountains, coast, hillsides, wetlands and flatlands.
  • Flight period is all year round in warmer areas, usually August to May, at highest altitudes only December and January.
  • Laval Food are buds, flowers and green seeds of Geranium and Pelargonium spp.

Cacyreus marshalli  - Common geranium bronze

 

Cacyreus marshalli  - Common geranium bronze

Water Bronze or Blue Bronze (Cacyreus tespis tespis)
The male size ranges from 15-25 mm whilst the female ranges from 17-25 mm.

  • Their distribution is also widespread, common to grassland. From Western Cape to Eastern Cape, along the coast, along the Drakensberg at varying altitudes (up to 3000m) and into Natal, Freestate, Lesotho, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo.
  • Their habitats are  gullies, mountains, coast and wetlands.
  • Flight period is all year round in warmer areas, usually August to May, at highest altitudes only December and January.
  • Laval Food are buds, flowers and green seeds of Geranium and Pelargonium spp.

Cacyreus fracta fracta - Water geranium bronze - Water-malvabloutjie

 

Cacyreus fracta fracta - Water geranium bronze - Water-malvabloutjie

 

7 Comments

  1. Firefly

    These really are beautiful macros. Stunning shots.

  2. Kerri

    Oh these are lovely! I miss the butterflies!

  3. Joey

    Such wonderful collection of butterflies you have Sean. Lovely images… be proud. 🙂

  4. Steve Woodhall

    Nice blog, Sean!

  5. Michael Ehrich

    Stunning pictures Sean.

  6. Sean Allen (Post author)

    Thank you everybody – I appreciate it so much.

  7. Moira van der Merwe

    Amazing photos!

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