Tagiades flesus

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Clouded forester
Tagiades flesus from Pipeline Coastal Park, Amanzimtoti, South Africa 2.jpg
A male of the summer form
Scientific classification
T. flesus
Binomial name
Tagiades flesus
(Fabricius, 1781)[1]
  • Papilio flesus Fabricius, 1781
  • Papilio ophion Drury, 1782[2]
  • Tagiades flesus f. ophelia Evans, 1937

Tagiades flesus, the clouded flat, clouded forester or clouded skipper, is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae from southern Africa.

The underside of Tagiades flesus


The wingspan is 35–47 mm for males and 43–49 mm for females. The upper surface of the wings is brownish with translucent spots near the apex of the forewings. These spots are larger in the female than in the male.[3] The undersurface of the hindwings is white with a semicircle of irregular black spots. The winter form is lighter in colour than the summer form.[3]


This species is found in forest areas from the Eastern Cape of South Africa,[3] through Swaziland and to the border of Zimbabwe.[3]

Life cycle[edit]



Single eggs are laid on the shoots of the food plants.[4]


The larvae feed on Dioscorea species (including D. malifolia) and Grewia species. The larva makes a shelter by cutting part way through a leaf from its edge and folding it over, or by sticking two leaves together with silk.[4]


The pupa is formed within the leaf shelter and is light brown in colour.[4]


Adults are on wing year-round; in warmer areas with peaks in late summer and autumn.[5] The males select territories and fly rapidly, with the white underside of the wings "flashing".[3] The females fly randomly throughout the forest.[3] The adults feed from flowers,[3] including those of Deinbollia oblongifolia and Tabernaemontana ventricosa.[6] These butterflies usually sit with the wings open.


  1. ^ Tagiades at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  2. ^ Beccaloni, G.; Scoble, M.; Kitching, I.; Simonsen, T.; Robinson, G.; Pitkin, B.; Hine, A.; Lyal, C., eds. (2003). "Tagiades flesus". The Global Lepidoptera Names Index. Natural History Museum. Retrieved April 23, 2018. Savela appears to be wrong in crediting this name to Stoll [1790].
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Williams, M. (1994). Butterflies of Southern Africa; A Field Guide. Southern Book Publishers. ISBN 1-86812-516-5.
  4. ^ a b c Woodhall, S.(2008). What's that Butterfly?. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. ISBN 978-1-77007-486-6.
  5. ^ Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7.
  6. ^ Purves, M. (2010)