CAPERING BUTTERFLIES

Brown-veined White Butterflies (Belenois aurota) are fairly easily recognised. Other common names for this butterfly include Pioneer, Pioneer White and Caper White.

There is a touch of yellow in the wings of this one.

The wings of this one are a little ragged.

Is this a much younger one? Looked at from above, it looks different – is it a Brown-veined White?

Dozens of these butterflies were flying above and in between the grass on the edge of town last month – perhaps these were the vanguard of the enormous migrations that had many South Africans agog at their numbers earlier in the year. Apparently these butterflies need to frequently replenish themselves with nectar to avoid dehydration and are particularly attracted to grass nectar – which would explain the numbers of them that settled briefly on the long grass.

Their annual north-easterly migration usually occurs during mid-summer, although the actual timing may depend on factors such as drought and rain. During this time they provide food for other insects and birds.

16 thoughts on “CAPERING BUTTERFLIES

  1. When that butterfly book of yours arrive you’ll be shocked to find how many imposters there are that look like the Brown-veined White! And that just adds to the fascination. You’ll be thoroughly hooked!

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  2. Hierdie fotos laat my dink aan die vryheid om te beweeg waar en wanneer ons wil. In jou blog vertel jy van die langpad – ek is ook so lus om daardie langpad weer te sien en om vir die wind om my te voel en alles in die omgewing te bekyk totdat ons die eindpunt bereik … seker ook ‘n wildtuin!

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    • I think the bottom one is a different butterfly. As has been pointed out, there are a lot of imposters – once the lockdown is eased and mail order deliveries can take place I am hoping to receive a more comprehensive field guide to butterflies than the one I have.

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