June 27, 2020

Afrotropical Butterflies & other neat things found online

For those of you who refer to William's Afrotropical Butterflies, he's recently uploaded a slew of new pdfs covering many genera.

They can be found here: http://metamorphosis.org.za/?p=articles&s=Results&page=0

I also encourage you to check out @shirdipam 's awesome butterfly photography website. Her photos of African species can be found here: https://pamsbutterflies.com/region/3/africa

Posted on June 27, 2020 10:43 by cabintom cabintom | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 17, 2020

Identification Guide : Eurytela dryope


Note that the angle in ssp. angulata's yellow FW band is often less pronounced than in the example given.

Posted on June 17, 2020 03:54 by cabintom cabintom | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 24, 2020

Identification Guide : Commonly Confused Belenois

The 3 Belenois species gidica, aurota, & creona are among the most common butterflies on the continent of Africa and yet are also among the most commonly misidentified butterflies on iNaturalist. This is due to their superficial similarity and the variability expressed in their wing patterns.

Hopefully this colour-coded guide will help you pin-point the key basic features of each species.


If anyone needs a more detailed explanation of defining features, please ask in the comments below.

Posted on May 24, 2020 16:35 by cabintom cabintom | 3 comments | Leave a comment

October 08, 2019

Tom the Maverick (?)

Well it looks like I'm sitting at over 40! maverick identifications at the moment... either I'm a rebel or there's a lot of easily misidentified African butterflies out there.

Anyone care to help?
See: https://www.inaturalist.org/identifications?user_id=cabintom&category=maverick

Posted on October 08, 2019 06:24 by cabintom cabintom | 1 comment | Leave a comment

June 26, 2019

Identification Guide: Eurema of the Terias subgenus

Note that the sex brand is only a feature in males of certain species.

Click on the following to enlarge.

Helpful scientific resources:

Note that the specimens chosen to illustrate these species in Williams 2019 (" Afrotropical Butterflies and Skippers - A Digital Encyclopaedia") are not always accurate.

Posted on June 26, 2019 13:24 by cabintom cabintom | 5 comments | Leave a comment

June 16, 2019

Identification Guide: Byblia anvatara

Posted on June 16, 2019 20:33 by cabintom cabintom | 6 comments | Leave a comment

June 14, 2019

Identification Guide: Zizeeria, Zizina, Zizula, Spot the Difference

(sorry for the pun)

Posted on June 14, 2019 17:04 by cabintom cabintom | 3 comments | Leave a comment

Identification Guide: Easily Confused Spialia in Central Africa

Posted on June 14, 2019 16:55 by cabintom cabintom | 5 comments | Leave a comment

Identification Guide: The Phalanta of mainland Africa

Posted on June 14, 2019 16:42 by cabintom cabintom | 4 comments | Leave a comment

May 05, 2019

Identification Guide: Hypolimnas misippus / Danaus chrysippus Mimicry Ring

Females of Hypolimnas misippus are excellent mimics of the aposematic Danaus chrysippus, even so far as mimicking the latter's various forms/subspecies. At first glance, it can be quite difficult to differentiate the model from the mimic, but with a bit of close study a number of differences can be noted, many subtle, others more significant.

Key Differences

  1. Dorsal Forewing, white apical markings: In Hypolimnas misippus these tend to be wider and form a continuous band. Furthermore, H. misippus has, at the very apex of the FW, a small but noticeable white patch that is absent in D. chrysippus.
  2. Dorsal Forewing, costa (leading edge): In Hypolimnas misippus the FW costa is heavily black, with black invading the cell for most of it's length down towards the base. In Danaus chrysippus, the costal margin is black, but very little black crosses into the cell.
  3. Dorsal Hindwing, spots: Hypolimnas misippus's hindwing features a single spot located at the costa. Danaus chrysippus's hindwing features 3 spots situated along the end of the cell. In males, a fourth spot (formed of androconial scales) is also present.
  4. Ventral surface, margin: Also visible, sometimes to a lesser extent, on the dorsal surface, there is a marked difference in the marginal pattern between the two species. In D. chrysippus the margin features a single row of spots, while in H. misippus the margin is 2 rows deep.
  5. Ventral Hindwing spots: Unlike on the dorsal surface, Hypolimnas misippus's ventral hindwing features 2 spots, one at the costa, and one at the base of space 5. Danaus chrysippus's pattern of spots remains unchanged.
Posted on May 05, 2019 13:19 by cabintom cabintom | 2 comments | Leave a comment