Mountain Pied Pierrot

Tuxentius margaritaceus ??

Pied Pierrot, Tuxentius, South Nandi Forest, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

This butterfly was observed on a wet road surface through South Nandi Forest, Kenya, April 2013. Several butterfly species were gathered together.

Tuxentius belongs to the lycaenid subfamily Polyommatinae, which are commonly called ‘Blues.’ Many species are indeed a light, sky blue in color. But this one is linen white marked with spots of black. Pied generally refers to a pattern of white and black.

The butterfly shown here was ‘puddling.’ In the company of many other butterflies the insects are taking water from a wet spot on the road. Likely, this spot also has a concentration of salts needed by the butterfly. A spot dampened by urine would be thus very attractive.

Lycaenidae -- Hairstreak and Blue Butterfly Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 6 November 2013