Tag Archives: Leptotes pirithous

Common Blue Butterflies

Leptotes species

We have four-species of Leptotes butterflies that are so similar to each other that they’re impossible to distinguish in the field. Three of these, the Common Zebra Blue (L. pirithous), the Babault’s Blue (L. babaulti) and Short-toothed Blue (L. brevidentatus) are widely distributed over the country, while Jeannel’s Blue (L. jeanneli) occurs only in the Lowveld.

The Common Blues inhabit a wide range of natural vegetation, cultivated fields and gardens all over the country throughout the year. They’re also familiar over most of the rest of Africa, Madagascar, the Near East and southern Europe. Adults often congregate at wet mud and have a wingspan of 2-3cm.

The larvae feeds on Plumbago and plants from the legume family. Adults are on the wing year-round, though much more numerous in the warmer months. Their complete life-cycle spans about 2 months.