Jump to content

Show us your butterflies...

Game Warden

Recommended Posts


rather wonderfully we also saw a White Admiral,( originally Limenitis camilla now ladoga camilla -i don't know wy ladoga is the name of a lake near st petersburg camilla is the name of a warrior maiden- perhaps bchosen as the species name of the red admiral is atalanta also i think a warrior)According to the oft quoted-by me- book by peter marren  the butterfly was firstt described from specimens taken   near te italian port of Livorno -known to English sailors as leghorn - the original name of the butterly was the rather less impressive leghorn white Admiral   this was   only the second time we have seen one-they are uncommon but not rare and like shady woods. appaently its german common name is kleiner eisvoel























































































































Edited by Towlersonsafari
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going through some old Ugandan slides I came across three more photos, that I'd forgotten had.


This first one is a forest species from Central and East Africa, it was sadly a slightly tattered specimen, as it is a beautiful butterfly  



Blue mother-of-pearl or Eastern blue beauty (Protogoniomorpha temora virescens) Buhoma, Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda




African Map Butterfly (Cyrestis camillus camillus) Budongo Forest Uganda


The photo above has at least two other much smaller species in it, I haven't succeeded in identifying them, I can't see them quite well enough and there are a lot of butterflies in Uganda. Wikipedia suggests there are around 1,235 species, known from Uganda. The African Map Butterfly is widespread forest species from West Africa down to South Africa. 




Mylothris continua continua, Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda 


The last one doesn't have a common name, but it is in the same genus as the Lemon Dotted Border I posted earlier and is a primary rainforest species.  

Edited by inyathi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A rather tattered specimen and not the best photo, this next one is a forest species from West Africa across Central Africa to parts of East Africa.




Western Blotched Leopard (Lachnoptera anticlia), Ivindo National Park, Gabon

Edited by inyathi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This butterfly is an entirely West African coastal forest species, it is found only in Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.



Western Blue Policeman (Pyrrhiades lucagus), Nsuta Forest Reserve, Ghana

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Just discovered this thread and as I love butterflies, I thought I'd might add some as well. Though I have to admit I don't know any species, I just like to watch and photograph them.


Following series are all taken in the amazing Phu Long Natural Reserve in Vietnam, which is still a hidden gem and will remain for long hopefully.


These were my favourite kind, with their large wings:






Another beautiful kind:



A bit more hairy kind with nice white-blue spots



A smaller kind of butterfly, but also nice colours.



Nor a particularly beautiful butterfly, but I like the combination with the flower.




Edited by FirstTimeAfrica
Removed duplicate
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Following pictures are from Malaysia.



Taken in the Cameron Highlands:







Butterfly in a forest on Penang Island:







Butterflies on Langkawi Island:









Link to comment
Share on other sites

@FirstTimeAfricaI've not been to Phu Long, I don't recall seeing many butterflies on my recent trip to Vietnam, I certainly didn't take any photos worth uploading as I have none on Flickr, your butterfly number 4 is a Danaid Eggfly, which I posted earlier it goes to show, how widespread the species is, that it occurs across Africa and all the way to Vietnam, I am not familiar with the others. The Malaysian species, the last two photos are a Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis) I looked that one up, as I will be posting it's African cousin fairly shortly, I don't know the others. 


The Common Citrus Swallowtail (Papillo demodocus) is one of the most common African Swallowtails found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and also Southwest Arabia. 



Common Citrus Swallowtail in Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary in Ghana



Citrus Swallowtail, Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Tanzania



Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania


The Western Emperor Swallowtail is a West African species, in Central Africa and parts of East Africa it is replaced by the similar Central Emperor Swallowtail



Western Emperor Swallowtail (Papilio menestheus), Ankasa Conservation Area in Ghana


This next one is an Eastern species found in suitable habitat from Southeast Kenya to Northern Malawi and Northeast Zambia 



Desmond's Swallowtail (Papillo desmondi) Usambara Mountains, Tanzania 



Butterflies on The Royal Mile Budongo Forest, Uganda


The group of butterflies above in the Budongo Forest, contains Broad Green-banded Swallowtails (Papilio bromius chrapkowskii), Green-banded Swallowtails (Papilio phorcas), Veined Swordtail (Graphium leonidas leonidas) Greater Striped Swordtail (Graphium antheus) I think, and Forest Caper White (Belenois zochalia)


The Narrow Green-banded is a very widespread species in Sub-Saharan Africa



Narrow Green-banded Swallowtails (Papillo nireus) and Lesser Swordtails (Graphium policenes), Aberfoyle Lodge, Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe


The next one is an old slide and not the best shot but is identifiable



MacKinnon's Swallowtail (Papillo mackinnoni) Mt Elgon National Park, Kenya




Female Mocker Swallowtail (Papilio dardanus tibullus), Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Tanzania


Female Mocker Swallowtails are very variable in appearance as they mimic other butterflies that are distasteful and don't look much like typical swallowtails or much like the males



Female Mocker Swallowtail Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Kenya


The Swordtails are in the same genus Graphium as the Angolan White Lady that I posted earlier, distinguishing the Common striped, Lesser striped or smaller striped (Graphium policenes) from the Greater Striped (Graphium antheus) can be difficult, it's not easy from photos, when you can't always see the relevant markings well enough, hence I think the Swordtails in that Budongo photo are Greater striped but they could be Common striped, they are both very widespread species, here is another shot.



Butterflies on the Royal Mile, Budongo Forest, Uganda. same species as in the previous Budongo photo



Large Striped Swordtails, Kapapa River, Katavi National Park, Tanzania



Common Striped Swordtails and Forest Caper White, Ankasa Conservation Area in Ghana


A video of the same butterflies





Common Striped Swordtails and Narrow Green-banded Swallowtails, Aberfoyle Lodge, Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe



Common Swordtails, Aberfoyle Lodge, Honde Valley, Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe




Common or Lesser Striped Swordtail, Reserva do Niassa, Mozambique

Edited by inyathi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The African Blue Tiger is a widespread forest species



African Blue Tigers, (Tirumala petiverana) The Royal Mile, Budongo Forest, Uganda


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Plain Tiger or African Monarch is a very widespread species occurring in Africa, Asia and Australia.



Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) , Mole National Park, Ghana




Plain Tiger Butterfly, Antikwa Road, Kakum National Park, Ghana


Link to comment
Share on other sites


One high spot of a very disapointing Sunday was a meander in Bedford Purlieu Woods where we were lucky enough to see the most widespread UK Hairstreak -I think just emerging-The purple hairstreak.It is associated with Oak trees and often the only sighting is as it flies high in the tree tops.This is a female, either with a damaged wing or, hopefully, still drying! it is a small butterfly and the "hairstreak" is thought in these butterflies to mimic antenna ?! It was first described in 1702 and called "The Streak" but not by Ray Stevens



Link to comment
Share on other sites


We also saw Dark Green Fritallary- as soon as the sun broke through they were flying strongly, and then when it clouded over they dropped into the grass- very fond of purple flowers



Link to comment
Share on other sites


not to be confused by the larger, glidier silver washed fritillary that prefers more wooded areas and brambles and has lines or washes of silver on its underwing- it is the largest uk Fritillary



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having almost posted all of my African butterflies, I had a quick count up, and then thought there must still be a few more that I have missed, ones I chose not to upload because I didn’t think were that great or I overlooked, so I have found just a few more. I have then gone back and edited previous posts to add in three more Charaxes species and a variable egglfy.


The Guineafowl is a very widespread savanna species found across Africa  and into Southwest Arabia



Guineafowl  Butterfly (Hamanumida daedalus), Mana Pools, Zimbabwe




Caper White or Brown-veined White (Belenois aurota aurota) and Large Vagrant (Nepheronia argia argia), Kapapa River, Katavi National Park, Tanzania


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Uncertain Nymph is a Western and Central African species.



Uncertain Nymph (Euriphene incerta) Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary, Ghana

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These Grass Yellows are I think Broad-bordered Grass Yellow (Eurema brigitta) a very widespread species found in Africa, Asia and Australia.



Broad-bordered yellow (Eurema brigitta) Nxai Pan, National Park, Botswana


Unless I stumble across any more African butterfly photos worth posting, that I have missed, this will be last African post for a while, at least until I've been back to Africa and found some new species to photograph, my next trip is to Chad (I hope), I've not photographed any butterflies there, but perhaps I will this time, who knows, otherwise I don't when I might photograph more African species.  Some of the photos I've posted, had extra butterflies in them besides the main subject, I've not been able to identify many of those, not counting those butterflies, in my first African post, I included an Acraea I photographed in the NIassa Reserve in Mozambique, I wasn't sure about the ID, but I now think it's probably a Window Acraea, that just leaves the photo of an Anthene species taken in Gabon as unidentified, that means I've posted shots of 69 named species, so including the Anthene, I would put my total for African butterflies at 70, which is far more than I expected. Having said that, I should say that I am confident that most of my IDs are correct, but I'm not absolutely 100% certain in every case.      



Link to comment
Share on other sites


I think my favourite butterfly,(perhaps tied with the White Admiral) of the ones that We have seen in the uk, as to be the marbled white( Melanargia galathea)-its not uncommon but its underwings look like they have been designed by Rennie Mackintosh. it is a member of the "Browns"



Edited by Towlersonsafari
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Te Brown Argus, another small butterfly, -and a member of the "Blues" is named afer its eyes (Aricia agestis) it can be tricky to identify when perched with its wings closed- the Brown Argus has a thin black line- these are perched on Birds Foot trefoil i think



Edited by Towlersonsafari
Link to comment
Share on other sites


In July a wood in Northamptonshire is a mecca for those seeking the Purple Emporer (Apatura iris) when the light catches the male's upper wings in the right way it can be spectatcular, and some folk go to extreme lengths- especially at the start of its flying season the male neeeds certain salts to get into breding condition so comes down to the ground to get them. Mid-morning is best, and it prefers sunny days.It was first described in the Uk in 1695 when it was called " Mr Dale's purple eye" then it was called purple Highflier or "Emporer of the Woods"-in France it is called "Le Grand Mars"

My field guide says it is attracted to "rotting flesh and annimal  excrement".

Here is one we saw today, on my foot......



Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Towlersonsafari Inspired by all of your shots of British butterflies and the fact that Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count started just over a week ago (goes on until 8th Aug), I thought that only having as far as I can recall one decent shot of British butterfly which I have already posted, was a bit of poor show having posted so many African species. I think it is all too easy to take one’s own wildlife from granted and not really notice it, thinking that the exotic species that one sees in Africa or South America are so much flashier and more beautiful. When you stop to look at some of our species even just common garden species some of them really are no less beautiful that their tropical relatives. I’ve not taken part in the butterfly count before, but I may now do so, you are asked to find a suitable sunny spot, that butterflies are likely to visit and stand and watch for 15 minutes counting what you see, I’ve done this a few times, but I think I need to work out when the very best time to do it is, so that I can get a good number of both individuals and species. The frustrating thing is not seeing all of the species that are around, on the same day, I will probably do a few counts and then pick the most successful.



Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), England








Peacock (Aglais io), England









Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), England

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You are right about the beauty of the butterflies in the UK @inyathi and to my shame I really only started to look for them a couple of years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

doing the Butterfly count at Summer leys, our local reserve, was quite productive in windy sunny showerery weather,we saw a nice comma,Speckled wood, common blue and several gatekeepers- with their wings folded the white spots help tell them apart from meadow browns






Link to comment
Share on other sites

I decided to have another try and counting butterflies and did rather better this time, scoring more species, it was nice and sunny but a little windy which made photography a bit more of a challenge, here are a few of the photos I took. 


I haven't paid that much attention to white butterflies until now, I see them often enough but don't really look at them, having now looked at some, they are not that easy to tell apart, so I'm not 100% certain I have identified these first species correctly but I think I have.



Large White (Pieris brassicae), England by inyathi, on Flickr 



Large White, England



Small White (Pieris rapae). England




Green-veined White (Pieris napi) . England






Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), England



Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus), England



Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), England



Peacock(Aglais io) , England




Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), England



Edited by inyathi
Link to comment
Share on other sites


whilst pootling about the Dunstable downs, lookin for a particular buterfly, we came across these moths-that eventually we think we have identified! first the micromoth Common purple & Gold (Pyrausta purpuralis) only 15-22mm long, then a common migrant (my book says) the Silver Y (Autographa gamma)-its latin name suggests it has written its own name-the "Y", and finally we think the Dusky Sallow(Eremobia orchroleuca)




Link to comment
Share on other sites


The buterfly we hoped to see was one that we had never seen before, the Chalkhill Blue (Polyommatus coridon) which likes chalk grassland, and the males are supposed to flutter close to the ground lookin for females, and can often be seen in good numbers.For once they nehaved exactly like they were supposed to- a lesson that other less helpful butterflies would do well to take note of.the photo's show the silvery blue males a bit worn, and the females are brownish rather than blue.They were bigger than the Common blues




Edited by Towlersonsafari
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been trying to get out to see butterflies locally but the weather has not been particularly helpful with lots of cool cloudy days and when the sun appears it is often windy. However a few have been around locally.


This is a common blue although I find it uncommonly beautiful...



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy