Libythea labdaca

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African snout butterfly
African beak (Libythea labdaca labdaca) underside.jpg
L. l. labdaca, Kakamega Forest, Kenya
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Libythea
Species: L. labdaca
Binomial name
Libythea labdaca
Westwood, 1851[1]

Libythea labdaca, the African snout butterfly, is a member of the butterfly subfamily Libytheinae found in western and central Africa.

Libythea laius was considered as a synonym earlier as it mostly similar to L. labdaca by sharing similar dorsal wing markings. But it differs from the latter in that the rectangular orange mark in discal cell apex is fused or separated from discal cell base.[2]

It forms vast migratory swarms (over 1 billion butterflies were estimated in Ghana). The butterflies move south in the spring and north in the autumn.

The larvae feed on Celtis species (including C. kraussiana and C. sayauxii).


  • Libythea labdaca labdaca (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Bioko, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, western Kenya, western Tanzania)
  • Libythea labdaca laius Trimen, 1879 (Ethiopia, eastern Kenya, eastern and northern Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, eastern Zimbabwe, northern Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland)



  • Kawahara, A. Y. 2006. Biology of the snout butterflies (Nymphalidae, Libytheinae), Part 1: Libythea Fabricius. Transactions of the Lepidopterological Society of Japan 57:13-33.
  • Kawahara, A.Y., 2013: Systematic revision and review of the extant and fossil snout butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Libytheinae). Zootaxa 3631 (1): 1-74. preview: [1].

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