The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Large Hairtail butterfly

Afrikaans name: Grootkortstertjie

Large Hairtail

Photo © Steven Herbert

Anthene lemnos lemnos

The Large Hairtail butterfly has a wingspan approaching 3 cm. Male and female are similar in size.

The upper side of the male's wing is a dark purple with black margins. The females are duller. As you can see from the photo the underside of the wing is cryptically coloured.

The Large Hairtail is normally found in vegetated areas where it likes to perch in the shade. They can be seen all year round, but the peak period is in summer going into Autumn.

In South Africa they are mainly found in the coastal region of KwaZulu-Natal. Anthene lemnos lemnos occurs from KZN to Malawi. Anthene lemnos loa occurs in parts of Tanzania and Kenya.

This species is sometimes called the Large Ciliate Blue butterfly.

References and further reading

Whats That Butterfly - Author: Steve Woodhall - Published: 2008 - Page: 1441

The Life Histories of the South African Lycaenid Butterflies - Author: GC Clark & CGC Dickson - Published: 1971 - Page: 109

Ivor Migdolls Field Guide to the Butterflies of Southern Africa - Author: Ivor Migdoll - Published: 1987 - Page: 197

Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Steve Woodhall - Published: 2020 - Page: 260

Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa - 1st edition - Author: Steve Woodhall - Published: 2005 - Page: 246

For more info: The Virtual Museum

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