The Cape Autumn Widow

May 11, 2015
Cape Autumn Widow

As we spend allot of time in the bush at Gondwana Game Reserve, we do not need a calendar to tell us that Autumn is soon approaching. Nature speaks to us in many ways!

One of the ways it communicates is through the recent influx of the Cape Autumn Widow. This Butterfly is only found at a specific time of year, that time being Autumn. Seldom do you see these butterflies on flowers but the females can be found flying low over the grass where they scatter their eggs. There is only one generation of these butterflies per year. 

This family of butterflies are grass feeders. Their diet of grass means they are not poisonous, so theoretically they cannot afford to be highly visible and therefore rely on camouflage to escape detection from predators. They have eyespots on their wings which are thought to help protect against predatory birds. Also known as the the Cape Autumn Brown, these butterflies appear  in congregations of several thousand individuals. 

By Guide, Melanie Delamare

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