Butterflies and Moths

B utterflies are well known insects that are active by day.

They land on flowers to feed, so they prefer large, or flat flowers where this is possible. Butterflies pollinate many red flowers with short tubes.

Flowers that are pollinated by moths, are often white or pale, and have a strong fragrance. The fragrance is often only released at night to attract nocturnal moths that come out in the evening, or at night to feed. Hawkmoths are very large moths that are active at flowers at dusk. With powerful wing beats they hover before a flower, and use their extra long tongues to access nectar in these flowers.

About 4 % of all the plants in Kenya, including Papaya (pawpaw) fruit, and many different African orchids, are pollinated by hawkmoths.

 Fulvous hawkmoth, Coelonia fulvinotata, approaching flowers of the orchid Aerangis brachycarpa. The long-tongue of the moth and long spur of the orchid flower are one of the most famous examples of coevolution.

  TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT Comma hawkmoth (Nephele sp.) probes the flowers of a Grewia, One-pip policeman skipper butterfly on Acacia brevispica.

BOTTOM Acraea butterflies on Bidens and Sphaeranthus flowers.

  TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT An Acraea sips nectar from a wild daisy.Brown- veined white, Belenois aurota, on a Sphaeranthus flower.

MIDDLE Netted Sylph skipper butterfly on flowers of Orthosiphon sp.Green-patch swallowtail sipping salts from mud.

BOTTOM  Colotis sp. on Kalanchoe flowers.

 TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT Common Scarlet butterfly, Axiocerses sp. sips nectar, Green- patch Swallowtail,

 on Kleinia and an Acraea on Bidens sp. (image cutout),Painted lady on Pentanisia,

BOTTOM LEFT TO RIGHT Playboy butterfly sipping nectar, Colotis sp. on fireball lily, Hairstreak on Justicia sp.


TOP LEFT TO RIGHT Skipper butterfly on Impatiens sp. in forest,  Fulvous hawkmoth at Combretum flowers.

BOTTOM LEFT TO RIGHT Unidentified hawkmoth on  a forest Vernonia, Small verdant hawkmoth Basiothia medea, visits a flowering Carissa.

 TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT Skipper butterflies at Bidens sp. and at a member of the hibiscus family.

MIDDLE Verdant hawkmoth and White-lined Sphinx at Pergularia flowers.

BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT Fulvous hawkmoth approaching Aerangis orchid, Convolvulus hawkmoth visiting flowers of Turraea sp.









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