Monthly Archive: December 2011

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

Cape st Francis Beach

This is a photograph of the beach near the lighthouse in Cape st. Francis. I tried to bring out all the blues and whites of this photograph to enhance the picture and to give it more punch than the original. I only used one picture instead of the usual 3+ pictures one would normally use to create an HDR version. I took this photo while on holiday at the Cape st. Francis Resort.

Cape st Francis Beach

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

The Brown Hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon Albiventris) is a species of bird in the Halcyonidae family and is distinguished from other red billed kingfishers by its brownish colored head, with black streaks. Its habitat is non-aquatic, thornveld, coastal forests and is also common to gardens and parks. The adults size is about 19 to 20 cm. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This picture was taken in a nearby bush in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The Afrikaans name for this is Bruinkopvisvanger.

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

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