The Great Little White Butterfly Migration

Go to the Facebook group White Butterfly Migration...

For the migration report form: click here.

This is an experiment in doing some real scientific research on Facebook. The question we are asking is: "What is the extent of the current migration of white butterflies across southern Africa?" The English common name for this species is Brown-veined White, the Afrikaans common name is Witgatwitjie, and the scientific name is Belenois aurota.

The most important information we need is "Where did you make your observations?" and "What was the date?" and "What did you see?" For the first question, if you can gives us geographical coordinates (from a GPS unit, from your phone, or from GoogleEarth) that would be great, but if you need to describe it in words, that is also fine (eg "10km north of Deneysville on the N14"). You can expand your answer to the third question by answering these questions: "How many butterflies were passing by?" (none, just a few, tens, 100s, 1000s, 10000s or more?). "In which direction were they going?" "When did the migration start in your area?" If there are no swarms of little white butterflies moving across the landscape in your area, please report that too - negative information is valuable. And you may contribute more than once. If we need to, we might send you a message on Facebook to ask you for some more information.

This project is led by LepiMAP, a joint initiative of the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town, and LepSoc, the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa. Data collected will be shared with Reinier Terblanche, who is doing his PhD on this topic.

Summary Statistics and distribution of Belenois aurota

  Records Observers Grid cells
Grid cells
(SA region)
All years 0 0 0
2000+ 0 0 0
This year 0 0 0

VM map

Bode J
Belenois aurota
Brown-veined white -- Witgatwitjie (PIERIDAE)