Butterflies of Africa
Common Dotted Border
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe - PIERINI
Mylothris rhodope, Bobiri forest, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins
Mylothris is confined to the African
continent and includes 51 species, most of which are distributed
across the forest belt from Cameroon to western Kenya.
share a number of characteristics: They have rounded wings, with a
black apex on the upperside forewings.
On the underside, fore and hindwings of most species have a single
row of prominent black marginal spots, hence the butterflies in this
genus are all known as Dotted Borders.
The ground colour of the wings varies from species to species. Some,
such as croceus have a deep
saffron-yellow ground colour, and others such as
humbloti are greyish-buff. The majority
of species however are white, but there is often a basal flush of
Mylothris butterflies are sometimes
confused with certain Belenois species,
but the latter are larger, and have a double row of submarginal
occurs in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroon,
Gabon, Zaire, Congo, Angola, Zambia, Ethiopia and western Uganda.
This is a forest species, occurring at elevations between sea level
and about 800m. It is migratory in nature however, and can be
commonly seen in open country during the rainy season.
The caterpillars feed on
Loranthus ( Loranthaceae ).
Both sexes are attracted to
herbaceous flowers and flowering bushes,
at which they nectar with the wings held half open or fluttering.
Males are also attracted to mineralised moisture around the edges of
puddles on forest tracks, and can be found singly or in small groups,
aggregating with Appias,
Graphium and Eurema
flight is slow and deliberate, and in conjunction with the conspicuous
appearance is indicative of the fact ( supported by experiment ) that
the butterflies are distasteful to avian predators. It is likely that
the toxins within their bodies are derived from the larval foodplants.
Mylothris rhodope, Aburi, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins