Most of the invertebrates play a big role in nature: They pollinate plants, help to degrade dead plant and animal material which serves as manure for plants. They are hunters but also food for others.


Class: Insecta = Insects, characteristic are the 6 legs and a solid outer skeleton, mostly chitin.

Butterflies in Kenya and Northern Tanzania - Kenya has 559 species, of which 34 are endemic / Tanzania 1.583 species,  134 endemic




Orange Tiger Moth


Pearl moth




Orange Tiger Moth (Secusio sp) Family Arctiidae


Pearl moth (Family Cambridae). 11.700 species world wide.




Achaea moth


Beer Moth Sphingomorpha chlorea




Achae moth (Achaea sp), Family Erebidae


Beer or Sundowner Moth (Sphingomorpha chlorea), Family Erebidae






Chiasmia subcurvaria




Erebus walkeri, Family Erebidae, Superfamily Noctuoidae = Night owls or owlet moths. This superfamily has more than 70.000 species world wide. This species has a wingspan of almost 20 cm .


Chiasmia subcurvaria / Three banded peacock
Family: Geometridae
Subfamily: Ennominae




Asota speciosa


Orange Tiger




Specious tiger (Asota speciosa), Family Noctuidae, Subfamily Aganainae


Orange Tiger (Secusio sp). Family Noctuidae




Orange spotted Skipper


Grizzled Skipper




Orange-spotted Skipper (Zenonia zeno)
Family Hesperiidae, subfamily Hesperiinae


Grizzled Skipper or Sandman (Spialia sp)
Family Hesperiidae, subfamily Pyrginae




Hottentot skipper


Sarangesa sp




Hottentot Skipper (Gegenes niso)
Family Hesperiidae, subfamily Hesperiinae


Elfins (Sarangesa sp), Family Hesperiidae, Subfamily Pyrginae




Deudorix antalus


Pea Blue




Brown Playboy (Deudorix antalus), Family Lycaenidae


Pea Blue, Lampides boeticus,
female. Family Lycaenidae




Junonia terea




Family Nymphalidae, large beautifully coloured butterflies.
Soldier commodore (Junonia terea)

Dark Blue Pansy (Junonia oenone), Family Nymphalidae






Eyed Pansy




Yellow Pansy (Junonia hierta),  Family Nymphalidae


Eyed Pansy (Junonia orythia, Family Nympfalidae




Little Commodore


Little Commodore (Junonia sophia), Nymphalidae




African Blue Tiger


Danaus chrysippus




African Blue Tiger, Blue Monarch (Tirumala petiverana),
Nymphalidae.Found in montane forests near water


African queen, African monarch (Danaus chrysippus)
Nymphalidae. widespread from Mediterrean to Africa.






Garden Inspector Precis




Cloanthe Pirate (Catacroptera cloanthe cloanthe), Family Nymphalidae


Commodore (Precis sp) Family Nymphalidae




Gaudy Commodore


Gaudy Commodore (Precis Octavia) Family Nymphalidae




Joker Butterfly






Joker butterfly (Byblia sp), family Nymphalidae


King forester (Euphaedra rex), Family Nymphalidae










Swallow tail sp. (Charaxes pollux), Family Nymphalidae, Arusha


Eyed Ringlet (Neocoenyura sp), Family Nymphalidae, Nairobi




Acraea acrita






Fiery Acraea (Acraea acrita), Family Nymphalidae


Acraea johnstoni from Arusha National park






Acrae White_barred




Small range Acraea (Acraea eponina),
Family Nymphalidae Nairobi


White-Barred Acrea (Acraea (Hyalites) encedon).
Family Nymphalidae, Nairobi




Hyalites sp


Dancing Acraea




Yellow-banded Acraea butterfly (Hyalites (Acraea) cabira),
Family Nymphalidae, Subfamiliy Heliconiinae, Arusha National park


Dancing Acraea (Acraea eponina) widespread in Savanna. Nairobi region.




Acraea encedon






Acraea encedon, widespread and abundant in Savanna.


Chief butterfly, Amauris sp are large butterflies with a
wingspan up to 8 cm. Family Nymphalidae










Mother of Pearl butterfly (Protogoniomorpha parhassus), Nymphalidae


Painted Lady (Vanessa sp), Nymphalidae




Long tailed Admiral


Abyssinian Admiral




Long-tailed Admiral (Antanartia schaenia), Nymphalidae. It occurs in
East Africa and I found it in the Aberdare mountains at around 2.000 m.


Abyssinian Admiral (Antanartia abyssinica)




Club tailed charaxes


Green Veined Charaxes




Club-tailed Charaxes (Charaxes zoolina), Nymphalidae


Green-veined Charaxes (Charaxes candiope), Nymphalidae






black bordered charaxes




Foxy Charaxes. (Charaxes saturnus) on a sausage tree fruit.


Black-bordered Charaxes (Charaxes pollux). Male patrol mainly in forests.




Bush Brown






Bush Brown (Bicyclus sp), Nymphalidae. Very common butterflies.


Diadem butterfly (Hypolimnas misippus) is a widespread species in
the family Nymphalidae. This is a male, the female is more brownish.




Common sailor, Neptis laeta






Common Sailer, Neptis laeta, Nymphalidae


Swordtail, Kite Swallowtail or lady (Graphium sp).
Often to be found at mud places. Family Papilionidae




African mocker swallowtail






African Mocker Swallowtail (Papilio dardanus), Family Papilionidae


Citrus Swallowtail (Papilio demodocus) is common South
of the Sahara. Family Papilionidae. Photo Fabian Krokan




Papilio rex


Noble Swallowtail




Regal Swallowtail (Papilio rex). Mimiking the Beautiful
Tiger/Forest Monarch (Tirumala formosa). Family Papilionidae


Noble Swallowtail (Papilio nobilis), Family Papilionidae






Grass Yellow




Dotted Border (Mylothris sp), Family Pieridae, Subfamily Pierinae.
51 species occur on the African continent


Grass Yellow (Eurema sp), Family Pieridae




Belenois aurota


African Emigrant




Brown-veined white or Caper white (Belenois aurota), Family Pieridae


African Emigrant (Catopsilia florella), Family Pieridae






Raffray's White (Belenois raffrayi)




African Common White (Belenois creona), Family Pieridae.
The male is yellow.


Raffray's White (Belenois raffrayi). Family Pieridae.
Arusha National park










Orange-Lemon (Colotis sp), Subfamily Pierinae


The Desert Orange Tip, Small Orange Tip, or Tiny Orange Tip
(Colotis evagore) is a butterfly of the Pierida family. It is found in the
dry parts of tropical Africa, northern Africa, Spain and southwest Arabia.




Colotis antevippe zera


Colotis amata




 Large Orange Tip, Colotis antevippe zera. Widespread.


Topaz Arab (Colotis amata). Subfamily Pierinae




African Wood White






African Wood White or Flip Flop (Leptosia alcesta), Subfamily Pierinae


Ethmia sp. or aberdaresi, Family Depressariidae









Sphingidae is a family of moths, commonly known as hawk moths,
sphinx moths and hornworms. Death's-head Hawkmoth (Acherontia sp) in Nairobi.


Before butterflies and moths can be seen flying around
they have to pass the stage of caterpillars and pupas.




Pseudophelia flavomarginata


Yellow Emperor moth




Apollo Moth, Family Saturniidae has several pseydonyms
Saturnia apollinaris, Heniocha paleacea, Bombyx balamoal, Pseudaphelia flavomarginata.
Distribution area: From East to South Africa


Yellow Emperor Moth, Family Saturniidae




Pseudobunaea irius


Silver striped moth




Pseudobunaea irius, a large member of the family Saturniidae


Silver-striped or Vine hawk-moth (Hippotion celerio). Family Sphingidae.
It is wide spread in African and up to India and Sri Lanka.




Processionary moth


Processionary moth (Anaphe rediculata), Family Thaumetopoidae