De rerum: an acknowlegement and explanation.
INDEX: Linnaean

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Paralethe dendrophilus

The Bush Beauty or Forest Beauty, another of the Satyrinae. In season I would always be ensured of finding it at Ferncliffe NR, sunning itself in the dappled shade. I have only one other locality record, here in our garden. They can be quite confiding, I remember one once settling on my jeans while I was sitting in the sun.
This butterfly is endemic to South Africa (and Swaziland). It is also monotypic; genus Paralethe van Son, 1955, the type species from Satyrus dendrophilus Trimen, 1862 is the only sp. There are four sspp.; from the large all white forewing patches the top picture is probably ssp. junodi.
The bottom picture is of the undersides of two which, having chased off a Common Bush Brown were sharing plant sap with a chafer beetle.
As with most of other Browns, its food plants are certain grasses.
As to the beetle, I can only quote JBS Haldane's apocryphal reply to a theologian that the Creator "has an inordinate fondness for beetles".

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