Common Leopard

Phalanta phalantha

a Common Leopard Butterfly, Phalanta phalantha, at Naiberi River Camp, Kenya, Oct. 14, 2010. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed at Naiberi River Camp, s.e. of Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. October 2010. Elevation 2300 meters.

The Common Leopard butterfly has a wide distribution across much of Africa south of the Sahara and also in the south of Asia. The wing span is on the order of 10 cm. It is also conspicuous in that it basks open-winged in the sunshine. Unlike many butterfly species, the common leopard larva feeds on a wide variety of plant species.

The butterfly shown here has wings damaged by encounters with predators, spiders or weather events. The fragility of butterflies means that most rarely survive more than a month as an adult.

Nymphalidae -- Brush-footed Butterfly Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Michael J. Plagens, page created 17 Dec. 2010,
updated 3 Sept. 2019.