Butterflies of Africa
Angolan White Lady
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - LEPTOCIRCINI
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are about 90 recorded species of Papilionidae in the continent of
Africa, including 37 in the genus
policenes have long
sword-like tails but others
and leonidas are
The wings of
most species are dark brown, and usually bear a pattern of
translucent turquoise, white or yellow
Males have a fold on the inner edge of each hindwing which encloses
plumes of androconial scales. These specialised scales disseminate
pheromones that are used to entice females into copulation.
is unlike any other African species with the possible exception of
G. philonoe. In
philonoe the large white area on the forewings is broken up
into a series of bars.
The Angolan White
Lady is a common butterfly, found throughout much of Africa from
Gambia to Ethiopia, and south to Angola, Mozambique, Botswana and
western South Africa.
This species is primarily an inhabitant of savannah, acacia scrub
and dry open woodland, but can be seen in lower numbers along
logging roads and in open sunny clearings in rainforest.
The larval foodplants include Annona
and Uvaria ( Annonaceae );
Landolphia ( Apocynaceae ); and
Sphedamnocarpus ( Malpighiaceae ).
Males are seen far more frequently
than females, and are often encountered in groups of 5 or 6
individuals, imbibing mineralised moisture from muddy tracks and
forest roads. Sometimes they are found in much larger numbers when
small swarms of migrants gather at damp patches of ground, or at
clumps of Tridax flowers.
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