Beautiful butterflies of South Africa

Posted on: November 7, 2022, in Blog

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Butterflies’ special place in human culture stems from the fact that they have used their wings not only for flight, but as a canvas for some of the most striking patterns in nature. We have beautiful butterflies in South Africa. Have a look below at some of the colourful beauties that grace our gardens in South Africa.

African Monarch Butterfly

Danaus chrysippus, broadly known by the name ‘Plain Tiger’ or ‘African Monarch’; is a familiar insect to those living throughout the African continent.

As caterpillars, they feed primarily on Milkweed (Asclepias spp.), making them unpalatable to predators.

They thrive in open, dry habitat types, including deserts, mountains, forests, gardens and parks.


Layman Butterfly

The sedate and elegant Layman inhabits forests, woodlands and savannas, occurring from the Eastern Cape through Kwazulu Natal into the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo. They fly slow and high, descending only to feed on flowers and alkaloids seeping from damaged and wilted plants. Adult Laymans have a wingspan of 5 โ€“ 7cm and can be seen on the wing throughout the year. Females lay clusters of 3-40 eggs on the underside of the leaves of a wide variety of food plants.


Garden Acraea

Acraea horta or the garden acraea is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae. It is found in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Common garden species with the larval stage occurring in large numbers on wild peach trees (kiggelaria africana).

Often seen over-wintering on garden walls etc. in the larval stage, where it will appear motionless until spring when it will pupate.


Blue Pansy

The Blue Pansy is an attractive butterfly that reaches a wingspan of around 5 cm. The male and female have similar colouration but females are slightly bigger. In contrast to the beautiful colours on the top of the wings the underside is predominantly brown.

The Blue Pansy is only found in Africa which includes the islands off the coast of Africa.


Butterflies are beautiful and they are beneficial to have in your garden. Unfortunately it is not the case for all insects found in or around your house.ย  If you have a pest infestation, contact Service Master for an inspection and to advise and administer the best treatment.

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