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C. cloanthe subsp. ligata
C. cloanthe subsp. cloanthe
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Catacroptera
Karsch, 1894
Species: C. cloanthe
Binomial name
Catacroptera cloanthe
(Stoll, 1781)
  • Papilio cloanthe Stoll, 1781
  • Precis cloantha var. obscurior Staudinger, 1885
  • Catcroptera cloanthe intermedia Rothschild, 1918

Catacroptera is a monotypic butterfly genus of the subfamily Nymphalinae in the family Nymphalidae found in sub-Saharan Africa. The habitat consists of grassland and savanna. Adults are on wing year round, but from September to April in cooler areas.


A pirate in KwaZulu-Natal

The single species, Catacroptera cloanthe, the pirate, has a wingspan of 50 to 63 mm. Its dorsal colour is orange with rows of dark bands in the forewing and blue spots surrounded by darker brown in the hindwing. The underside is brown with greyish stripes. Sexes are similar.[1] There are seasonal forms which differ slightly. The dry-season form has a dark brown underside.

Food plants[edit]

The larvae feed on Justicia protracta, Barleria stuhlmanni, Ruellia cordata, Asystasia gangetica, Barleria opaca, Ruellia togoensis, Chaetacanthus setiger, Asclepias and Phaulopsis species.[2]


  • C. c. subsp. cloanthe – East and southern Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape)
  • C. c. subsp. ligata Rothschild & Jordan, 1903 – West Africa: south-eastern Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon


  1. ^ Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7. 
  2. ^ Afrotropical Butterflies: Nymphalidae - Tribe Kallimini

External links[edit]