Branded Blue

Uranothauma falkensteini

Branded Blue, Uranothauma, South Nandi Forest, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

This butterfly was observed on a wet road surface through South Nandi Forest, Kenya, April 2013.

Some butterflies tend to fold their wings over their backs when perched while others tend to splay them parallel to the ground. Many butterflies use their wing surfaces to regulate insolation and thereby body temperature; when the wings are held out the insect is usually attempting to warm itself in the sun. In many butterflies the reverse side has a very different color pattern than the top surface.

The upper surface of Branded Blue butterfly wings are rusty brown - this pattern is concealed in the butterfly shown here. Along the posterior edge of the wings are a pair of very fine tails. These together with small eyespots divert the attention of insect-eating birds. A bird that snatches the tail will break off part of the wing, while the damaged, but surviving butterfly will escape.

Lycaenidae -- Hairstreak and Blue Butterfly Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 4 November 2013