African Caper White

Belenois aurota ?

African Caper White, Belenois aurota, from Nairobi, Kenya, July 2014. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed in a secondary woodland in Nairobi, Kenya, July 2014.

The first thing most people notice about a butterfly is its color and can then be confused when they discover that many kinds of butterflies display a wide range of colors and markings within the same species. The Caper White can have very narrow or wide black lines and borders. In addition the base color, especially the underside, can be yellow or orange hued, or else pure white. The result is a confusion of names and taxonomy! The larva of this butterfly feeds on the leaves of various caper species.

African Caper White, Belenois aurota, from Nakuru, Kenya, July 2014. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Among puddling butterflies near Nakuru, Kenya, July 2014.

Puddles of water often attract butterflies, sometimes in phenomenal numbers. As you can see the butterfly above has extended its proboscis for a drink. Water is of course important to the butterflies physiology, but the minerals dissolved in the water are the main attraction. Grazing animals for example excrete minerals in feces and urine some of which get washed into pooled water. Carrion is also a rich source of minerals and attracts butterflies.

Pieridae -- Sulphur and White Butterfly Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 20 January 2015
update 4 March 2015.