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Butterfly Information

    The "Brown-veined White" Butterfly (Belenois aurota aurota)


The Brown Veined White (Belenois aurota aurota) is one of the most common butterflies in Southern Africa. It is as exceedingly abundant insect, especially in arid open country, this butterfly has a low, fairly strong flight, which is frequently interrupted when it visits flowers and muddy puddles. This butterfly is on the wing throughout the year. Large migrations of this butterfly take place during the mid-rainy season in Southern Africa, up the east coast of Africa, towards Madagascar. As the  butterfly migrates it lays its eggs on various host (food) plants on the way.

The so-called migration of the "Brown-veined White" is however not a "true" migration, as the butterflies do not return to where they originated from. The migration occurs to prevent over exploitation of their various food plants. Their flight direction is normally from the west to the east. However, during the month of March 2007, a movement was observed from the east to the west along the KwaZulu Natal  South Coast.

Fig 1. Male "Brown-veined White" Butterfly (Belenois aurota aurota)
Photographed in the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve - Port Edward - KZN.