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Butterflies of Africa
Sabine Albatross
Appias sabina  FELDER & FELDER, 1865
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe - PIERINI
Appias sabina, Bobiri forest, Ghana Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
There are about 23-28 species that are currently accepted as members of Appias, comprising 7-8 species from the Australian region, 16-20 from the Oriental region, and 6 in Africa. It is difficult to be precise about numbers as there is uncertainty regarding the taxonomic status of some species.
At first glance Appias sabina can be mistaken for certain Mylothris species, but in Appias the apex on the forewing is more acute. In sabina the black spots are small and do not extend onto the costa of the forewing. In similar Mylothris species, e.g. poppea and rhodope, there is a flush of bright yellow at the base of the underside forewings, but in Appias sabina the yellow is restricted to the costa of the hindwing.
Appias sabina is a common and widely distributed species found across most of sub-Saharan Africa from Sierra Leone to western Kenya, and south to the northern parts of South Africa. It also occurs on Madagascar and the Comoro islands.
Habitats
This is a forest species, often seen along logging roads, but is migratory in behaviour so can turn up in savannah / woodland habitats, botanical gardens and city parks.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Boscia, Ritchiea ( Capparaceae ), and Phyllanthus ( Euphorbiaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Males are usually seen singly or in two's and three's amidst aggregations of Belenois, Eurema and Mylothris, imbibing mineralised moisture around the edges of puddles on forest tracks.

 

 

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