Butterflies of Africa
Calypso Caper White
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe - PIERINI
Wli Falls, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins
The genus Belenois comprises of about
30 species, of which 25 occur in the Afrotropical region.
Males of most
species are pure white, with well defined black markings, while
females usually have browner and more suffused markings, on a dull
white or creamy ground colour.
The most widespread
species is aurota which is found across
most of Africa, Arabia and the Indian subcontinent. In Africa it
sometimes swarms in thousands, and can be found in almost any
Belenois calypso is not migratory in
behaviour, but disperses thinly over a wide area. It is found across
much of sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Congo, Angola and Malawi,
but it's range does not extent to the East African coast.
This butterfly can be found in many habitats, ranging from arid
Acacia scrub to primary rainforest. It
is most frequent however in secondary forest, and in woodland /
The larval foodplants include Capparis,
and Ritchiea ( Capparaceae ).
Males are seen in much greater
numbers than females. They commonly settle on paths and forest roads
to imbibe mineralised moisture, often amidst aggregations of
and Appias, with the
Eurema Grass Yellows invariably
outnumbering the other species.
Females are more often observed in
flight, when seen visiting flowers, or when ovipositing.