Butterflies of Africa
FELDER & FELDER,
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe - PIERINI
forest, Ghana ©
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.
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.
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.
The larval foodplants include
( Capparaceae ), and
Phyllanthus ( Euphorbiaceae ).
are usually seen singly or in two's and three's amidst aggregations of
and Mylothris, imbibing mineralised
moisture around the edges of puddles on forest tracks.