15 C
Mossel Bay
12th Aug 2022
Nature & Nurture

Cape Autumn Widow

Did you happen to notice in autumn that there were hundreds of ‘black’ butterflies about?  I spent quite a while chasing them in order to get a photo and eventually succeeded! I discovered that they are not black, but brown with very pretty markings.

The Cape Autumn Widow or Diraclytus butterfly larvae (caterpillars) feed on a variety of wild grasses. So often when we see caterpillars devouring leaves in our gardens our immediate reaction is to want to get rid of the caterpillars and save the plant. But without caterpillars we will have no butterflies or moths and the leaves always regrow! This highlights the importance of preserving the small pockets of indigenous wild grasses and plants in our suburbs and in our gardens if we want to see beautiful flights of butterflies. I would encourage you to fill your gardens with indigenous larval host plants so that you can enjoy the butterflies!

 

 

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