November 16, 2009
The butterflies inhabit a pond shared with 10 crocodiles in a village called Banani.
This village is one of 10 Dogon villages located beneath the Bandiagara Escarpment which contains ancient Tellem cave dwellings in Mali, West Africa.
Your photos are stunningly beautiful. These butterflies are a species in the group known as Whites in the family Pieridae. The butterflies are puddling, drinking water with dissolved chemical salts. This unusual practice is characteristic of many butterflies the world over. We will try to identify the exact species when we have time. We found one photo online on a Harvard website labeled Brown Veined White Butterfly that looks very close to your specimens. Continued searching found another visual match on the Birdman in Tanzania website, and the Brown Veined White is identified as Belenois aurota. The species often has spectacular migrations with thousands of individuals. The Marketgid Website also calls the species the Caper White. Maybe Karl can take a stab at this ID.