Common Diadem

Hypolimnas misippus

The Common Diadem is a large butterfly with a wingspan of 6 to 8cm. The males are distinctive with a velvety black and blue sheen and striking white blotches to the top of their wings, while the females are excellent mimics of the notoriously foul-tasting African Monarch, which supposedly aids in evading predators. With the exclusion of the arid western parts of the country the Common Diadem is widely distributed in South Africa, being found in habitats ranging from grassland and savanna to forest edges, parks and gardens. It is one of the most widespread species of butterfly and, apart from Africa, is also found in parts of Asia, Australia and the Caribbean (the females in different parts of the world mimic different kinds of butterflies). Adults can be seen throughout the year though they’re much more common in the late summer months.

22 thoughts on “Common Diadem

  1. naturebackin

    You have some lovely pics here. Interesting that in other regions the female “mimics” other species. These butterflies visit our garden and I recognize the male colouration. I will have to be more careful observing the females though.

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