Metisella malgacha

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Grassveld sylph
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hesperiidae
Genus: Metisella
Species: M. malgacha
Binomial name
Metisella malgacha
(Boisduval, 1833)[1]
  • Steropes malgacha Boisduval, 1833
  • Cyclopides malgacha

Metisella malgacha, the grassveld sylph, is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. It is found in the Cape, Orange Free State, Lesotho, Transvaal, and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The habitat consists of grassland and grassy areas in the fynbos and Karoo.[2]

The wingspan is 25–29 mm for males and 27–31 mm for females.[3]

Flight period is between August and May with several broods possible or December to January at highest elevations.[3]

The upperside wings have many gold spots on a brown background similar to the gold spotted sylph (M. aegipan) that has a darker background. The spots on M. malgacha are typically smaller than M. aegipan. The underside of the wings are orange brown. Sexes are similar.[3]

The larvae feed on Ehrharta erecta.


  • Metisella malgacha malgacha (South Africa: Mpumalanga, North West Province, Gauteng, Free State Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape Province, Western Cape Province, Northern Cape Province)
  • Metisella malgacha orina Vári, 1976 (Lesotho, South Africa: Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal – Drakensberg)


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