Butterflies and Moths

Common Blue Butterfly

The Common Blue, also known as Leptotes pirithous pirithous, are small butterflies in the Genus Leptotes. They are from the family Lycaenidae. Other names for this butterfly are; Lang’s Short-tailed Blue and Common Zebra Blue. The wingspan is 21 to 29 mm for males and 24 to 30 mm for females. Leptotes is part of a group of 4 blues namely: The Common Blue, Short toothed Blue, Jeannel’s Blue and Babault’s Blue. They are impossible to tell apart and genital dissection is the only reliable method of doing so. Blues are attracted to wet mud with other blues and to the blue flowers of the Plumbago auriculata plant.
Most of this information was supplied from Steve Woodhalls book
Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa

Common Blue Butterfly

Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly

From the family Papilionidae, subfamily Papilioninae and genus Papilio come the Swallowtail butterflies. Papilio is the largest genus in the family and it has species all over the world. Dispite the name, swallowtails are often tailless. The Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly is common throughout South Africa, particularly in wooded areas and gardens. This Citrus Swallowtail was shot at Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly

Amazing Looking Caterpillar

On a trip to the van Stadens Flower Reserve just outside Port Elizabeth, we came across an area covered with Watsonia flowers. These watsonias were covered with these beautiful colorful caterpillars. The whole problem with caterpillars, is when it comes to identifying them. There are so many varieties of these, that identifying them is really quite a daunting task! Since the posting of this picture, the caterpillar has been identified as a Pine Tree Emperor Moth (Imbrasia cytheraea). The caterpillar was identified by Stephen Woodhall, author of the book “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa

Pine Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Common Dotted Border Butterfly

The Common Dotted Border Butterfly or Mylothris Agathina Agathina can be found in most of South Africa. It is a butterfly of the Pieridae family It is common along the coastal forests and in wooded country areas. Its habitats are forest edges, parks, gardens, flatlands, coasts and hillsides. The wingspan is 50 to 60 millimetres for males and 52 to 65 mm for females. The adults are on wing year round, with peaks in October and from late February to April. This particular specimen was photoed at Assegaaibosch Country Lodge in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Common Dotted Border Butterfly

Garden Grass Veneer Moth

Garden Grass Veneer MothChrysoteuchia culmella is a species of moth of the family Crambidae. It is common throughout the UK and Southern Africa,and found in grassland and meadows.
Chrysoteuchia culmella moths have a wingspan ranging between 18 to 24 mm.
The larvae of Veneer Moths feed on the roots of various grasses, in some cases causing enough damage to be considered a pest. This particular one was found in my back gardern, and taken with a MPE65 Canon Lens. The light was terrible there though.

Garden Grass Veneer Moth

Squinting Bush Brown Butterfly

Bush brown butterflies are part of the genus Bicyclus. These are dull brown butterflies with the underside having numerous large and small eye spots. The are fond of fermenting fruit and favor shady areas. The typical wingspan for this butterfly is around 35-45mm depending on gender. They live in forests and flatlands and are well camouflaged when sitting on dead leaves. This butterfly’s picture was take at Assegaaibosch Country Lodge

Squinting Bush Brown Butterfly

Hawk Moth caterpillar

This caterpillar or worm seems to resemble a hawk moth. It has the usual ‘eyes’ on the sides and also the fake ‘sting’ which most hawk moths seem to have.
There are many of these species of moths that look similar, but have different colours. For example the Oleander Hawk moth (Daphnis nerii), is mostly green and feeds mainly on the oleander bushes.
This caterpillar could be brown as a result of it possibly being ready to pupate.
If anyone else can identify this caterpillar other than a hawk moths lava, please leave me a message

Hark Moth Caterpillar

Common Emperor Moth

The Common Emperor Moth or Cabbage tree emperor moth (Bunaea alcinoe) is a saturniid which is widely distributed throughout southern, central and east Africa. Its lavas’ main foodplant is Cabbage Trees. The lava can completely defoliate a Kiepersol tree (Cabbage tree) within weeks This one’s size was about 100mm from the tip of one wing to the other.

Emperor Moth