Forest Beauty

Paralethe dendrophilus

The Forest Beauty or Forest Pride is, as its name suggests, a beautiful butterfly inhabiting temperate coastal and mountain forests in eastern South Africa, from the Eastern Cape to the escarpment of Mpumalanga and Limpopo. It is a shy butterfly that flies low and fast and hides in the shade, usually against a tree trunk, when at rest or threatened. With a wingspan of up to 7cm the females of this species is a little larger than the males. Forest Beauties have a single generation annually, with adults only seen between December and May when the females scatter their fertilised eggs among grass on the forest floor. The larvae feed on various grasses and is slow growing; the full life-cycle from egg to adult takes a whole year.

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