African Wood White

Leptosia alcesta

The Afrikaans name for the African Wood White, “Fladderpapiertjie”, which translates to “fluttering piece of paper”, perfectly describes the undulating motion of this tiny,  bright white butterfly as it restlessly flies around in the deep shade of the forest understory.

Eggs are laid singly on plants from the Capparis or Maerua genera on which the larvae feeds. The pupae are equally tiny, being only slightly bigger than the head of a match. Adults have a wingspan of only 3-4cm and are seen throughout the year.

In South Africa, the African Wood White is found in coastal, riverine and montane forest habitats in Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. It further occurs in suitable habitat throughout sub-Saharan Africa.


24 thoughts on “African Wood White

  1. Anne

    I always admire your butterfly photographs, but these ones are special. Well done on getting them in different positions, which make them look far from static.

    Liked by 1 person


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