Thursday, September 5, 2013

Queen Purple Tip Butterfly in Namibia

Because Queen Purple Tips (Colotis regina) are relatively fast they are not easily netted unawares unless they have settled on a flower. Males look for females by flying around larval host-plants trees. Small koppies and hilltops are favoured locations. One of Namibia's most widespread and common butterflies, the red tip, flutters around the Fish River Canyon. The larvae of other species of tip such as Queen's purple and Doubleday's orange use the leaves of caper bushes and shepherd's tree to feed on. Kalahari orange tips are common from October to March.

Distribution: Etosha National Park , Epupa Falls, Ruacana Falls, Kavango River region, Caprivi Strip , Damaraland , central and northern Namibia, Kalahari Desert , Fish River Canyon.

Breeding/Larval food: Eggs are laid on caper-bushes (Capparis spp)shepherd's tree (Boscia albitrunca) leaves.

Colouration: Regina refers to its 'majestic' appearance. Pinkish tinge underneath with the purple patch of the female is broken by a row of black discal spots.

On the wing: Throughout the year.

Wingspan: Male and female: 55 to 60mm.

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