De rerum: an acknowlegement and explanation.
INDEX: Linnaean

Friday, July 8, 2011

Belenois the genus

Im sure that when Hubner established this genus in 1819, he had in mind the Celtic god Belenos - the shining one - possibly a reference to the pearlescent white that many species exhibit on there upper side. Hence they are called the Whites, or Caper Whites, because their larval food is mainly from the Capparaceae (Maerua, Boscia and capparis spp).
There are three species comonly found here: Belenois creona, B. gidica and B. aurota, and here it would appear in that order of occurence. Some years we would see a mass migration of Whites (B. aurota) flying high in waves in a North-easterly direction into the blue yonder. In the last few years we haven't seen this.
As each species shows both sexual an seasonal dimorphism we have 12 permutations of these three similar spp. - some very distinctive, and some similar.
 

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