Zandvlei Trust

Insects - Butterflies

Butterflies  Read how you can help research on this subject.

Gold spotted Sylph (Metisella metis metis) sun bathing. wing span about 30mm.

White barred Charaxes (Charaxes brutus) feeding on a sap flow on a tree branch. Larvae feed on mahogany and other plants. It is a very strong flyer with a wingspan range of 65 - 75 mm.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Diadem (Hypolimnas misippus) This is a mimic of the African Monarch butterfly, from this photo one would not suspect so. See the photo below.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Diadem (Hypolimnas misippus) This is a much closer resemblence to the African Monarch butterfly, see below. The larvae feed on Asystasia, Portulaca, and Talinum.

                                                                                 photograph by Greg Morgan

Banana Nightfighter (Moltena fiara) Has a large         Common Dotted Border (Mylothris agathina)
body and head. The larvae feeds on Strelitzia plants.      Attracted to flowers.

photograph by Greg Morgan

African Monarch (Danaus chrrysippus) Feed
mainly on milkweeds.

A sequence of African Monarch photos.

The butterfly has found a milkweed plant in flower and is feeding on the nectar.

This one is displaying for a mate.

....and they have found each other.

....having a rest.

Then a single egg is laid at a time.

Out of the egg comes a small catapillar, they seem to live on
and eat the underside of a leaf until they are more developed.
This one is about 2 days old. 

Then It started chomping and chomping and has grown
to this size in about 6 - 8 days.

This one is about 12 - 14 days and has a voracious appetite.
They appear to eat day and night.

This is a seed pod of the milkweed which disperses its seed in the wind.

This is what is left of a plant after 2 weeks.       Then it is time to pupate.

In hours the catapillar has formed this cocoon       A green coloured one attached to a plant leaf.
and become a pupae to wait for the right
conditions to emerge as a beautiful butterfly....

..... 11 days later there is activity in the pupae        The butterfly emerging from the casing.
casing. See the wing markings and clouring
which took about a day to become apparent.

See how the wings are still folded and small.              The atenae are begining to move about, the tongues
                                                                              unwound and the legs are moving. 

The wing veins being pumped with blood so they
can straighten out. After about an hour the butterfly
flew off to start the cycle again.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Yellow Pansy (Precis hierto) sitting on the ground.

Rainforest brown (Cassionympha cassius) Wingspan 40 mm in coastal bush.

Cape Autumn Widow (Dira clytus)  Adults fly slowly just above the grass. This is the under side of the wings. Top side is a dark brown.

Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui) feeding on 
Bitou bush flowers, Park Island in the autumn. It is a strong flier in the wind.

photograph by Greg Morgan  

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) sitting on the
ground in a typical wings open stance.

Garden Acraea Butterfly (Acraea horta) Orange - red with black
markings, fore wings may be translucent with promient viens.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Garden Acraea Butterfly larvae (Acraea horta).

Fynbos Blue Butterfly (Tarucus thespis) Males mauve blue. Both sexes have a black and white fringed hair margin on the outer edge of the wings. Low slow flyers.

Common Pea Blue (Leptotes pirithous) Wingspan about 25mm.  Larvae feed on Plumbago, Cape Honeysuckle, Keurboom and other species. Larvae have a honey gland and are sometimes seen with ants in attendance.

Common Pea Blue (Leptotes pirithous) Pair mating.

Topaz Blue (Azanus jesous) Male.

Common Hottentot Skipper (Gegenes niso) flies rapidly landing
 briefly on plants. Often frequents gardens with flowering shrubs.

Cabbage White (Pieris brassicae ) has adapted to gardens and natural areas in recent years.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Citrus Swallowtail (Princeps demodocus demodocus) gliding past a flower.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Citrus Swallowtail (Princeps demodocus demodocus) about to land on a flower.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Citrus Swallowtail (Princeps demodocus demodocus) pupae casing, the wing markings have left colouring on the inside of the case. See the silk threads holding it to the wall.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Citrus Swallowtail (Princeps demodocus demodocus) newly emerged butterfly wings still unfolding. The pupae case is fastened to the wall with silk threads to the right of the butterfly.

photograph by Greg Morgan

Citrus Swallowtail (Princeps demodocus demodocus)

photograph by Greg Morgan                                           photograph by Greg Morgan

Citrus Swallowtail (Princeps demodocus demodocus) egg on a leaf (left) and a catipillar leaving its caprice on the right. It will develop into the catipillar similar to the one seen below.

 photograph by Greg Morgan

Citrus Swallowtail (Princeps demodocus demodocus) catapillar close up.
The red horns are a warning to not come any nearer.

Citrus Swallowtail butterflies (Princeps demodocus demodocus) Caterpillar is known as an 'orange dog'.

Is this whats called "flying a little ragged"?


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