African Monarch in flight
Painted Lady on Lavender
Photographed 11/ 12/ 13/5/19
Photographed this afternoon
Alternate common name: Diadem
Afrikaans common names: Blouglans (male), Na-aper (female)
Wingspan: ♂ 60–65 mm ♀ 70–80 mm
Notes: Male is a strong fl ier and is territorial on hilltops and in forest
clearings. Sexes dimorphic, distinctive. Polymorphic females are mimics of
all forms of the unpalatable African Monarch. Prefers wooded country and
often visits gardens and fl owers.
Flight period: Year-round, peak late summer.
And on the subject of migration … I mentioned to Brian the other day that the Brown Veined Whites (Belenois aurota) have begun their annual trek up through South Africa .
A bit further north past our spot they make a right turn and head for Mozambique. I think this is where their journey ends, so in effect it’s not really a migration as their flight is a one way trip.
Anyway, they originated in the South West – Kalahari and begun arriving at our spot two days ago.
As they arrive on the property many seem to park off for a bit of refreshment on the lavender I planted last year.
Their numbers depend on the usual climactic factors – rain, drought etc, but whatever the weather the fairly stately butterfly procession will continue for a day or two more, and they pause on their journey every now and then to lay eggs.
And as with any large ‘migration’ of this nature there are opportunists at every turn.
A gravid Mantis found on the Lavender.
Some Butterflies are fortunate, and get to continue their journey.
Some aren’t so lucky.
Ginger eyeing the arrivals.
On the Lemon Verbena. No predators here.
Byblia ilithyia or more commonly known as the Spotted Joker.
Photographed today, after lunch
I have only ever seen this butterfly once before, some two years ago, so after being rather pleased with myself for managing a shot of the Monarch my heart skipped a beat when the wife noticed this flitting among the gazanias. ”Look, there’s a Painted Lady,” she said pointing.
Oh no it’s not! says I. Keep your peepers fixed on it, and I dashed to my office for the camera.
On my speedy return It hadn’t moved …
I managed two shots and then … gone.