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




Pearl moth


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




Amerila moth


Orange Tiger Moth




White Frother (Amerila sp). Family Erebidae, Subfamily Arctiinae


Orange Tiger Moth (Secusio sp) Family Erebidae, Subfamily Arctiinae




Achaea moth


Beer Moth Sphingomorpha chlorea




Achae moth (Achaea sp), Family Erebidae


Beer or Sundowner Moth (Sphingomorpha chlorea), Family Erebidae






Seydelia ellioti




Erebus walkeri, Chiasmia subcurvaria / Three banded peacock
Family: Geometridae
Subfamily: Ennominae
= Night owls or owlet moths. This superfamily has more than 70.000 species world wide. This species has a wingspan of almost 20 cm .


Elliot's Tiger (Seydelia ellioti), Family Erebidae




Chiasmia subcurvaria


Olive haired Swift




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


Borbo Skipper or Olive haired Swift (Borbo borbonica).
Widespread. Family Hesperiidae, subfamily Hesperiinae




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


Elfin Skipper




Hottentot Skipper (Gegenes hottentota)
Family Hesperiidae, subfamily Hesperiinae


Elfin Skipper (Sarangesa sp), Family Hesperiidae




Mackens skipper


Small slug moth




Macken’s Skipper (Acleros mackenii instabilis).
Family Hesperiidae. From East to West Africa.


Small slug moth, Family Limacodidae. The nam
 is given due to their caterpillars resembling slugs.




Common Bush Blue


Deudorix antalus




Common Bush Blue (Cacyreus lingeus). Very common
South of Sahara. Family Lycaenidae


Brown Playboy (Deudorix antalus), Family Lycaenidae




Pea Blue male


Pea Blue




Pea Blue (Lampides boeticus)
Male. Family Lycaenidae


Pea Blue (Lampides boeticus)
female. Family Lycaenidae




African Grass Blue Zizeeria knysna


harpendyreus aequatorialis




African Grass Blue (Zizeeria knysna), Family Lycaenidae. Widespread.


Harpendyreus aequatorialis a species of aquatorial high grass land.
Aberdare National park, 2.920 m.
Family Lycaenidae




African Babul Blue


Common Scarlet




African Babul Blue (Azanus jesous). Widespread in East Africa.
Family Lycaenidae


Common Scarlet (Axioxerses harpax). Wides spread.
Family Lycaenidae




Spodoptera littoralis


African cotton leafworm or Egyptian cotton leafworm or Mediterranean
(Spodoptera littoralis). Family Noctuidae, Africa and Southern Europe.




Asota speciosa


Orange Tiger




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


Orange Tiger (Secusio sp). Family Noctuidae (Owlet moth)




Cream striped owl moth


Cyligramma fluctuosa




Cream-striped owl moth (Cyligramma latona), Family Noctuidae. Occasionally
in large numbers. The caterpillars feed on acacias. Widespread in Africa.


Cyligramma fluctuosa, Family Noctuidae. Found in many parts of Africa.




Junonia terea




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

Blue Pansy (Junonia oenone), Family Nymphalidae






Eyed Pansy




Yellow Pansy (Junonia hierta),  Family Nymphalidae


Eyed Pansy (Junonia orythia, Family Nympfalidae




Little Commodore


Natal pansy Junonia natalica




Little Commodore, female (Junonia sophia), Nymphalidae


Natal Pansy (Junonia natalica), 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.






Gold banded Forester




Cloanthe Pirate (Catacroptera cloanthe cloanthe), Family Nymphalidae


Gold-banded Forester (Euphaedra neophron), coastal areas, Usambara
region, South Tanzania, Nymphalidae, subfamily Limenitidinae




Gaudy Commodore






Gaudy Commodore (Precis Octavia) Family Nymphalidae


King forester (Euphaedra rex), Family Nymphalidae




Joker Butterfly


African Joker




Joker butterfly (Byblia ilithyia), family Nymphalidae


African Joker (Byblia antavarta) widespresd. Family Nymphalidae






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




Bush Brown


Common Bush Brown




Common Bush Brown (Bicyclus safiza). Widespread South of Sahara.
Family Nymphalidae


Common Bush Brown (Bicyclus safiza). Widespread South of Sahara.
Family Nymphalidae




Henotesia perspicua






Swamp patroller, Marsh patroller, Eyed Bush-Brown
(Henotesia perspicua). Native to Eastern and Southern Africa


Eyed Ringlet (Neocoenyura sp), Family Nymphalidae, Nairobi




Acraea acrita






Natal Acraea, male (Acraea natalica), Family Nymphalidae


Acraea johnstoni from Arusha National park






Acrae White_barred




 Small Orange Acraea (Acraea serena),
Family Nymphalidae Nairobi


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




Aracea insignis


Hyalites sp




Black-dotched Acraea (Acraea insignis). Forests in Africa.


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




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






Layman Amauris albimaculata




Friar (Amauris niavius) in forested areas of tropical Africa. Family Nymphalidae


Layman (Amauris albimaculata), Family Nymphalidae










Forest Mother of Pearl (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)
Nymphalidae, subfamily Limenitidinae




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.




Pearl Charaxes


Savanna Charaxes




Pearl Charaxes (Charaxes varanes). Widespread in Africa. Arusha


Savanna Charaxes or Scarce Forest Emperor (Charaxes etesipe).
To be found in tropical Africa and Madagascar






Scalloped Sailor Neptidopsis ophione




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


Scalloped sailer or Scalloped false sailer (Neptidopsis ophione) widespread in Africa in forested areas. Arabuko Sokoke Forest




Common sailor, Neptis laeta


Eastern White Lady




Common Sailer, Neptis laeta, Nymphalidae


Angolan White Lady (Graphium angolanus),  south of Sahara, Nymphalidae






African mocker swallowtail




Large striped Swordtail,  (Graphium antheus).
Often to be found at mud places. Family Papilionidae


African Mocker Swallowtail or Flying Handkerchief
(Papilio dardanus), Family Papilionidae, Male






Narrow blue banded swallowtail Papilio nireus




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


Narrow blue-banded Swallowtail (Papilio nireus) is
widespread South of the Sahara. Family Papilionidae.




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




African Emigrant male


African Emigrant




African (E)migrant male (Catopsilia florella), Family Pieridae


African (E)migrant female (Catopsilia florella), Family Pieridae




Vine leaf vagrant


Belenois aurota




Vine leaf vagrant (Eronia cleodora). In warm areas. Family Pieridae


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




Tiny orange tip Colotis evagore


Round winged Orange Tip




Tiny Orange Tip (Colotis evagore) common and widespread in grassland.


Round-winged Orange Tip (Colotis equippe). Common and widespread.




Coast purple Tip


 Purple Tip (Colotois ione). Quite wide spread in savannas.




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


Epiphora bauhinia




Pseudobunaea irius, a large member of the family Saturniidae


White-ringed Atlas moth (Epiphora bauhinia) is a large member of
the family Saturniidae, subfamily Saturniinae




Silver striped moth


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




Nephele accentifera


Convolvulus hawkmoth




Accented Hawk (Nephele accentifera), Family Sphingidae. Most
common in Ethiopian region. Quite a large moth with up to 80 mm wingspan.


Convovulus hawkmoth (Agrius convovuli), Family Sphingidae
Widespread in Africa, up to Europe, Asia, India and Australia.
Caterpillars feed on Convolvulus plants / morning glories.




Pseudoclanis kenyae


Hippotion eson




Pseudoclanis kenyae, Family Sphingidae.
Found from Aethiopia, South Sudan to Malawi.


Hippotion eson, Family Sphingidae, Ethiopien region up to Madagascar




Macroglossum trochilus


Processionary moth




Hummingbird hawk (Macroglossum trochilus), Family Sphingidae. Widespread.


Processionary moth (Anaphe rediculata), Family Thaumetopoidae




Processionary moth caterpillar


Caterpillars of Processionary moths gather at daytime on a tree stem close to each other for camouflage and protection. At night they search for food. The red bristles show after beeing disturbed as warning.