Aeropetes

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Mountain pride
Aeropetes tulbaghia, J Dobson, a.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Tribe: Melanitini
Genus: Aeropetes
Billberg, 1820
Species: A. tulbaghia
Binomial name
Aeropetes tulbaghia
(Linnaeus, 1764)
Aeropetes Tulbaghia distribution map.svg
Range across South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (also in eastern Zimbabwe)
Synonyms
  • (Genus) Meneris Doubleday, 1844
  • (Species) Papilio tulbaghia Linnaeus, 1764
  • (Species) Meneris tulbaghia (Linnaeus, 1764)

Aeropetes is a monotypic butterfly genus in the family Nymphalidae. Its only species, Aeropetes tulbaghia, is commonly known as the Table Mountain beauty or mountain pride. It is native to southern Africa, where it occurs in South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.[1]

Description[edit]

Upperside
Underside

The sexes are similar, but males are on average smaller. The wingspan is 70–78 mm for males and 75–90 mm for females.

Habitat and habits[edit]

Aeropetes is commonly found in mountainous, rock-strewn hillsides and gullies. It has a tendency to settle on the shady side of rocks and of overhung stream banks.[2]

Biology[edit]

The larvae feed on various Poaceae species, including Ehrharta erecta, Hyparrhenia hirta and Pennisetum clandestinum. The adults are fond of red or orange flowers,[2] and it is the pollinator of the orchid Disa uniflora. There is one generation per year.[3] Adults are on the wing during the austral summer, from November to April (with peaks from December to March).

Range[edit]

The butterfly is found throughout the fynbos bio-region of South Africa, besides parts of the Nama Karoo and grassland areas in the Western and Northern Cape, Free State and Gauteng provinces of South Africa. It occurs fairly commonly along the mountain ranges of the Great Escarpment and Eastern Highlands, which includes parts of the Western and Eastern Cape, Lesotho, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga, Limpopo,[2] and eastern Zimbabwe.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aeropetes at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  2. ^ a b c Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Nature. p. 44. ISBN 9781868727247. 
  3. ^ Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7.