Spialia mafa

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Mafa sandman
Mafa Sandman Spialia mafa.jpg
In Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hesperiidae
Genus: Spialia
Species: S. mafa
Binomial name
Spialia mafa
(Trimen, 1870)[1]
  • Pyrgus mafa Trimen, 1870
  • Hesperia oberthuri Aurivillius, 1925
  • Spialia aurivillii Shepard, 1935

Spialia mafa, the Mafa grizzled skipper or Mafa sandman, is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. It is found in south-western Africa, in KwaZulu-Natal, Botswana, Zimbabwe and from the Cape in South Africa to Sudan and southern Arabia.

These skippers are dark brown with white spots and both sides of the wings.[2]

Wingspan is from 22–26 mm.[2]

Flight period is year-round but peaks from September to April.[2]

The larvae feed on Hermannia, Pavonia and Hibiscus species (including Hibiscus aethiopicus).


  • Spialia mafa mafa (southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, southern and south-eastern Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, central and northern Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho)
  • Spialia mafa higginsi Evans, 1937 (Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, south-western Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman)


  1. ^ Spialia 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, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7. 

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