We are all familiar with the Guineafowl from the world of birds but there is a butterfly that is also known as a Guineafowl. It also has spots like its feathered namesake, but it has six legs. The Guineafowl is sometimes called a Road Inspector, which I assume is a reference to them spending a fair amount of time on the ground. When on the ground they tend to keep their wings open. The Afrikaans name is Tarentaaltjie.
Where do Guineafowl butterflies occur?
The Guineafowl occurs from the northeastern parts of the Eastern Cape, through KZN and in a band across the northern region of South Africa. This includes Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and parts of Gauteng. They may be seen all year round. Although they are not normally associated with gardens and parks, they may be encouraged by the presence of Combretum molle and Terminalia sericia trees. They are also attracted to overripe fruit. They are not very common in the southern parts of their range. You may have more luck attracting them to your garden if you live in the northern parts of the country.
What does the Guineafowl butterfly look like?
The male and female Guineafowl butterfly are similar in looks although the wings of the female are more rounded. The females tend to be a bit bigger than the males. They are quite large having a wingspan of up to 7 cm. The top of their wings is brown with white spots. The under-wing colour is pale orange with white spots. The spots are ringed or tipped in black and are said to be more grey than white during the dry season although I must admit that I haven’t noticed this.
Read more about the Guineafowl butterfly on Bluegnu.