Top 10 Most Popular Butterflies of Africa


Africa has exceptional biodiversity when it comes to butterfly species. There is a wide range of butterflies and moths in Africa with new species still being discovered. Butterflies play an important role in refueling the ecosystem and remind us to save our fragile and beautiful nature. Here are Africa’s top 10 most magnificent butterflies:

  1. Citrus Swallowtail

It is an abundant species throughout Africa and is commonly found around lemon trees. It is a fast flier and very active butterfly specie. It is a large butterfly in black and white color.

  • Common Bush Brown

It belongs to the largest butterfly family Nymphalidae. The common bush brown butterfly favors rainy weather and has a slow dancing flight. Male and female butterflies are similar with a single difference of a tiny black mark on the underside of the forewing in male butterflies.

  • Acraea butterfly

This butterfly has four semi-transparent orange-shaded wings with black marks. It inhabits gardens and woodlands. There are over 200 species of this butterfly. It is common throughout the moist region of South Africa.

  • Common Mother of Pearl

The common mother of pearl is a large butterfly that is commonly found in eastern regions of South Africa. It has a wingspan of 8 cm and females often grow to 9 cm. Its population is highest in autumn and summer.

  • African Grass Blue

Sooty blue African or African grass blue is found in almost every habitat ranging from forest to desert and is the most widespread butterfly on residential lawns. This butterfly has a wingspan of 2 to 2.5 cm.

  • Blue Pansy

It is a tiny revealing butterfly that is found in Africa. It favors sunny areas and nectar plants. It is fond of sunny days and relaxing in warmth. They mainly feed on different plants’ nectar.

  • African Migrant

It is one of the most abundant butterflies in South Africa. It is famous for its migrating behavior which peaks in summer. It is a large butterfly with a wingspan on 6 cm. It is found in coastal areas with gardens and green fields.

  • African Monarch

It is a large butterfly with a floating flight pattern. Appears bright orange, it is commonly seen in the summer seasons. Also known as the plain tiger, it is found in open areas like gardens and the countryside.

  • Bush Bronze

It is a small blue butterfly that flies higher and grabs the attention due to its beautiful look. Males and females of this butterfly species appear different due to different colors. It lays eggs on various plants including the plants in the Plectranthus family. They inhabit degraded rainforests, parks, gardens, acacia scrub, and open dry forests.

  1. Common Hottentot Skipper

It is a small, fast-flying, lively butterfly that is commonly found in Africa. It flies fast over short distances and inhabits grassland, savanna, and open patches in forests. It rests on grass stems, flowers, and mud puddles for short periods. Adult butterflies can be seen throughout the year.


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