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Butterflies of Africa
Forest Caper White
Belenois theora  DOUBLEDAY, 1846
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe - PIERINI
Belenois theora theora, male, Bobiri, Ghana Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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 habitat.
Belenois theora is distributed from Guinea to Sudan, and south to Uganda, Congo and Tanzania.
Habitats
This butterfly is strongly migratory. It can be found in many habitats including farmland, arid Acacia scrub to primary rainforest. It is commonest in open forest.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

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 Eurema, Mylothris and Appias. Females are more often observed in flight, when seen visiting flowers, or when ovipositing.

Larsen records that in December 1996 "males were cascading by the thousands down every track and road in Okomo Nature Sanctuary in Nigeria, with smaller numbers of Appias sabina. Clouds of butterflies surrounded every spot where passing pedestrians or animals had urinated, stopping for a while before continuing their relentless flight. On the main road through the sanctuary 30-40 passed every minute from 08.30 to 16.00 hrs during the 6 days I was there ( 15,000-20,000 a day along that one road )".

 

 

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