Brown-veined Whites

Many of you have probably noticed and wondered about the millions of white butterflies flying around everywhere?

The white butterflies in South Africa (mainly Brown-veined Whites, Belenois aurota aurota, left) originate in the Kalahari and in other arid regions of the Northern Cape.  During some years, they have a massive population explosion where the numbers get so big that they eat all the leaves of the available food plants.  If the adults stayed in that area, there would not be any food left for their larvae so they move off towards the east, and lay their eggs as they go along.  They basically keep on flying until they die, but in many cases they actually reach the Indian ocean and are often still seen flying into the sea

They are easily identified medium sized butterfly- The males are white with black tipped, white spotted forewings, black comma at the end of the forewing cell, and white spotted black outer brown underside. Females with more extensive black markings, no white on black for wingtips, underside of wings with patches of yellow in addition to the black markings.

Truly spectacular to see these butterflies all together!!!

We would love to know how widespread these butterflies goes so if your on safari and getting this on your mobile, let us know what’s happening where you are too.