The Common , or Bushveld, Purple Tip is another one of our South African butterflies where the males and females look so different that it would be very easy to confuse them for entirely different species – even within each of the sexes there’s a great variation of colour combinations that become more or less pronounced in the dry or wet season, making for a very tricky identification indeed! With a wingspan of around 5cm the Common Purple Tip is one of the larger species of the “tips” butterflies (genus Colotis).
These striking butterflies are on the wing throughout the year and, being a savanna species, in South Africa occur from the southern reaches of Kwazulu-Natal into the Lowveld and Bushveld regions of Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West Province. They’re also widely distributed through the savanna areas of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. The larvae feed on the leaves of plants from the Boscia, Maerua and Capparis genuses.