Tailed Black-eye Butterfly

Leptomyrina hirundo

The Tailed Black-eye is a little butterfly – with a wingspan less than 3cm – that often goes unnoticed, despite being quite common where it occurs, which in South Africa is in the various kinds of forests and the bushveld savanna regions of the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. They’ll even visit gardens in these parts, are quite confiding and often found in close proximity to others of its kind. They fly very near to the ground. Adults are on the wing year round, but they’re most numerous in November and March. The tiny larvae feed on succulent plants from the genera Cotyledon, Kalanchoe and Crassula – many of which are popular in local gardens – and bore into the leaf to eat out the inside before leaving the “empty” leaf for another.

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