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 Post subject: Brown-veined White butterfly
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:54 pm 
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Johan van Rensburg wrote:
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This one above is a Brown-veined White, a familliar butterfly that migrates across South Africa in vast numbers every year. Seen here feeding from Rosemary flowers.

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 Post subject: Re: Brown-veined white butterflies
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:24 am 
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A nice thread with lots of detail and no picture... that cannot be right! :lol:

Brown-veined Whites seen in a mixed group of butterflies on drying mud early in February, about halfway around the Mahonie loop near Punda.

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 Post subject: Re: Brown-veined white butterflies
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:35 am 
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Forgot to post this one. Taken in Mokala NP during our stop-over in December 2007.

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 Post subject: Butterfly: Brown-veined whites (Belenois aurota)
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Last night at around 6pm we were sitting in the garden when suddenly large numbers of the white butterflies appeared. These are the ones that fly east into Mozambique every year after laying their eggs. Isn't it a bit early for this mass 'migration' of white butterflies?

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 Post subject: Re: White butterflies?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Those white butterflies are brown-veined whites (Belenois aurota), and they don't really migrate. Migrating species return to the area where they migrate from, like the wildebeest in the Serengeti / Masai Mara. Brown-veined whites often undergo a huge population explosion in the Kalahari area, and when they have stripped their foodplants (Sheppard's trees / Boscia albitrunca) completely, they start moving off. They basically fly until they drop dead or reach the sea, and plaster every suitable plant in their way when they do this. So there isn't really a fixed time for the "migration" that we know so well. I hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: White butterflies?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:07 pm 
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We saw the brown-veined whites migrating early December already. We drove for about 100 km plus through such a "migration", all the way from Barberton up to Belfast. Some of the movements may be local movements, while the big movement is from the arid parts of SA. moving North east up to Zim and Mosambique.

Here is the thread.

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 Post subject: Re: White butterflies?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:28 pm 
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Imberbe wrote:
We saw the brown-veined whites migrating early December already. We drove for about 100 km plus through such a "migration", all the way from Barberton up to Belfast. Some of the movements may be local movements, while the big movement is from the arid parts of SA. moving North east up to Zim and Mosambique.

Here is the thread.


I note this thread goes back to the 2006 "migration". That was a most exceptional year for brown-veined whites. There were literally millions upon millions of them all over Gauteng (and possibly in other places as well). I have never seen as many butterflies before or after. Wherever one looked there were swarms of butterflies.

I remember it particularly because I have a first aid class at the school where I matriculated and I allowed a "side-track" (which is rare in my teaching style) specifically so that we could talk butterflies. I like butterflies.

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 Post subject: Re: White butterflies?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:04 pm 
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I have a sneaky feeling that this yearly migration may dwarf some better know migrations by sheer numbers ...

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 Post subject: Re: White butterflies?
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:14 pm 
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We have seen this phenomenon nearly every year but yesterday was amazing. If we blocked out the sun with a book we could see these white butterflies drifting ever upward towards the sun - and trailing behind many of them were gossamer threads! Any idea what these were? I could only surmise that they were threads from when the pupae were attached to the leaves and the hatching butterflies somehow still had some threads attached?


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 Post subject: Butterfly ID needed
Unread postPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:08 pm 
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Can someone help with ID of these two types of butterflies? Seen in KTP in February 2010.

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Many thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Butterfly ID needed
Unread postPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Brown-veined White (Belenois aurota) - On the right.

This is the species well know for the annual migration to the north-east.

African Migrant (Catopsilia florella) - Centre

This is also a common migratory species.

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 Post subject: Re: Insect ID needed
Unread postPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Agreed :D

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 Post subject: Re: Insect ID needed
Unread postPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:32 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Butterfly ID needed
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:13 am 
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Can anyone tell me what the lovely brown-veined white butterflies and the green ones are that you see en masse in the Kgalagadi in the rainy season? You usually see them in great groups, sipping at water puddles in the road. I think the white ones are 'caper white' or 'pioneer white' or 'brown-veined white', which all seem to be alternate common names for Belenois aurota. But I haven't been able to identify the pale green pearlescent ones you often see with them. Anyone?

I have a photo I could provide for confirmation, but I don't know how to copy it here.

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 Post subject: Re: Butterfly ID needed
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:17 am 
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Annie, here's a quick link to our website where we answer the question regarding the brown-veined white migrations. The other species with the pearly green underside is the African migrant / Afrikaanse swerwer / Catopsilia florella. They are not as well known for their migrations as the brown-veined white, but in general they can also travel pretty large distances and often congregate around mud with the other white butterflies. Also have a look at the following: http://www.lepsoc.org.za/general/faqs.html

Arks, the little blue butterfly is a sooty blue (Zizeeria knysna). They can be pretty common, but also easily confused with other small butterflies such as the Gaika blue and Clover blue. Even though the identificafion for the widow is possibly correct, be carefull as there are 5/6 species in the genus (group), and some of them can only be told apart by dissecting them :hmz:

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