Eyed Pansy – Junonia orithya madagascariensis

This photograph was taken in Port Elizabeth at the back of the suburb known as Linton Grange.  She was really obliging and sat really still for the forty odd shots that I took of her. This image was one of the photos that I really liked, but it was a little busy, so toned down the background a little to bring the butterfly out a bit.
The Eyed Pansy has its territories on hill tops, ridges and will sit on the ground or on low vegetation. It will chase away intruders to its territory  even if the intruders are bigger butterflies than itself. The Eyed Pansy is common, but  not as common as the Yellow Pansy. Can be found from Eastern Cape to KwaZulu Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, Freestate, Northern Cape and North West Provinces. Their habitats include hill tops, parks, gardens and forest edges. It’s larval food is Scrophulariaceae snapdragons, and the common South African foodplant is Graderia subintegra – Wild Penstemon.
Most of this information was supplied from Steve Woodhalls book
Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa
Blue Pansy


  1. mcfingon

    Very beautiful shade Sean, I’ve been trying to take photos of butterflies but they won’t stay still long enough 😉

    You are very good at capturing them at the right moment.

    1. Sean Allen (Post author)

      @mcfingon: I look forward to seeing some Canadian butterflies in the future. Thanks for the comment.

      1. Joanne

        They are not so obliging!
        Tried once to get a clearwing moth and by the time I clicked, it was already gone

        1. Sean Allen (Post author)

          Sometimes when its a little colder, they tend to be lazy and sluggish – thats the best time to snap them.

  2. risovic

    It must be very difficult to photograph butterflies! They do not stay long in one place and extremely feel someone’s presence. Beauty!

  3. Sean Allen (Post author)

    You are quite correct liliana, very difficult to photograph, but this one was not too bad. The Skipper, on the other hand, was very very fast and much more difficult to get.

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