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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Common Mother-of-Pearl

Afrikaans name: Perlemoenskoenlapper

Common Mother-of-Pearl butterfly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Protogoniomorpha parhassus / Salamis parhassus

This is a large butterfly with a wingspan of up to 8 cm. Females sometimes grow to 9 cm. Apart from the slight size difference the sexes are similar.

In South Africa the Common Mother-of-pearl is found along the eastern regions of the country from East London through to Limpopo.

It is found in coastal and montane forests.

Although this butterfly may be seen all year round the population is highest in summer and autumn.

Common Mother-of-Pearl butterfly Above - The above photo of a Common Mother-of-Pearl butterfly was taken in my garden. They are not always around but when they are there their large size makes them very visible. A few days after taking the above photo I found a dead one and it is only when you have one in your hand can you truly appreciate the mother-of-pearl colours. Just take my word for it and don't go killing them!


References and further reading

Butterflies of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Mark Williams - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 80

Butterflies of the Kruger National Park - Author: Johan Kloppers and the late Dr. G. Van Son - Year Published: 1978 - Page: 75

Familiar South African Butterflies - Author: Clive Quickelberge - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 36

Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa - Author: Steve Woodhall - Year Published: 2005 - Page: 130

Gardening for Butterflies - Author: Steve Woodhall & Lindsay Gray - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 50

Ivor Migdoll's Field Guide to the Butterflies of Southern Africa - Author: Ivor Migdoll - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 169

What's That Butterfly - Author: Steve Woodhall - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 1025

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