Butterflies of The Gambia
December 11-18, 2009

Any ID's are tentative.
Any comments or corrections will be welcome.

Source : Field Guide to the Butterflies of the Gambia by David Penny published by Siri Scientific Press.

The Gambia represents a transition zone between the dry savannah woodlands of the north and the wetter, Guinean forests of the south. Our visit occured during the November - June dry season when the dry Harmattan winds blow.

While the Gambia has a large number of individual butterflies, they are not species rich and none of the butterflies recorded are endemic. The Makasutu Wildlife Trust has published a provisional checklist.

There are roughly 174 species recorded: Papilionidae (4), Pieridae (25), Lycanidae (47), Nymphalidae (56) and Hersperidae (42).

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  • Citrus Swallowtail
    Papilio demodocus democus
    none of the swallowtails in the Gambia has "tails"

  • African Migrant Catopsilia slorella

  • Small Grass Yellow
    Eurema brigatta brigatta

  • Large Vagrant Nepheronia argia argia


Citrus Swallowtail
Papilio demodocus democus

  • Caper White Belenois aurota
    a big dry season migrant attracted to the lights at Kombo Beach. Also called "Brown-veined white"

  • African Caper White Belenois creona creona

  • Creamy Small White Dixeia orbona

  • Orangetip sp. either Large Colotis antevippe or Tiny Colotis evagore antigone . these often fly together; highly variable


Caper White
Belenois aurota

  • several "Blues" like Savannah Pied Pierrot , Common Zebra Blue Leptotes pirithous and Babaulti's Zebra Blue Leptotes babaulti

  • African Grass Blue
    Zizeeria knysna


3 species of "blues"

  • African Tiger or
    Africa Monarch
    Danaus crysippus
    the Gambia race is unique in that it has a whitish hindwing


African Tiger or
Africa Monarch
Danaus crysippus

  • Blue Pansy
    Junonia orithya madagascariensis


Blue Pansy
Junonia orithya madagascariensis

  • Guineafowl
    Hamanumida daedalus

  • Small Orange Acraea
    Acraea serena


Small Orange Acraea
Acraea serena

  • Gray Elfin
    Sarangesa laelius


Gray Elfin
Sarangesa laelius

Misc. Unidentified Butterflies