Subject: Tanzanian butterfly
Location: Arusha Tanzania
April 8, 2013 4:35 am
this was taken this morning, there are a number of these around at the moment, it is during the start of the long rains here. Photo from Arusha in Tanzania.
Although when resting, the wings are always closed, but the top wing colour is bluish purple as can sort of be seen in the second photo.
About 12 to 15 mm in height.
This is a Gossamer Wing Butterfly in the family Lycaenidae, which includes Blues, Hairstreaks and Coppers. Sorry we cannot provide a species identification.
Thanks for the quick response, I have done some further research in the last 24 hours and I think it could be this species, cacyreus lingeus or the Common bush blue, is this a possibility?
Hi again Simon,
We found an image of the Common Bush Blue on TrekNature and Butterflies of Africa and it does look like your butterfly. The scientific name Cacyreus lingeus should have the first word or the genus name capitalized.
Thanks for taking the time!
There is about 20 to 30 different butterflies in the back yard at the moment, slowly going through them all, so may send some more if I get stuck again,
You are welcome Simon. Our identification requests are starting to pick up again as spring is hitting much of the northern hemisphere, but we would love to post additional nice photos of African butterflies, especially if you already have them identified. Please use our standard submission form for any nice photos you have that you would like us to post.
What caught my eye with these Cacyreus lingeus is that I also saw a pair mating, and after a bit of maneuvering and jostling about, they settled down into the one position for about 5 to 10 minutes or so, and the pattern of the “eyes” on the wings of the joined butterflies, as well as the final configuration of both showed a distinct mimicry of a jumping spider.
In the brief research that I have done, I have not seen anything written anywhere of two separate insects actually using mimicry as a defense mechanism before, although they were still for quite a while so were fair game without some defense system.
Have attached the photo to see what you think?
That is an awesome observation Simon. They really do look like the face of a Jumping Spider. Perhaps it is time for you to write a paper. We will be adding this photo to your original submission as well as making it a unique posting that is a feature.