Butterflies- Viewing Butterflies in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Planning a Butterfly safari holiday in congo the famous kahuzi biega national park with trusted tour operator or through the park its self
Butter flies symbolize the richness of the tropics clouds of butterflies may be found on the edges of tracks , close to small water sources and animals dung or one of the many brilliant colours may surprise you as one flutters across a path , shipping nectars before disappearing into the foliage of the tropical forest. It is rare to see two utter flies of the same species one after the other.
South of the sahara around 3500 species of butterflies have been recorded with a few more than 1000 occuring in democratic republic of congo, these are always markedly less numerous in the mountain rain forests than at lower altitude . As is the case with plants and birds , many species are endemic to the mountain massif of kivu Ruwenzori.
Adult butterflies continually catch your eyes because of their vibrant colours, the opposite is true of their caterpillars which are very difficult to find because of their excellent camouflage, they merge easily with leaves and barks. Those caterpillars that display bright colours often contain poison which originates in their food, in this way they avoid becoming the prey of the birds or other predators. Certain adults butterflies retain these chemical defences, their aposematic colouration warms potential predators to keep away from them and not to attack them , this then provides a better protection against predators with certain capacity to learn from experience , particularly higher vertebrate. Many other species adopt the same colour scheme although they are not toxic themselves, these are called imitators.
Papillio antimachus is undoubtedly the largest African species , the wing –span of the male reaches 20-23cm, and that of the female 15cm. they rarely leave their habitat in the crowns of the trees, males occasionally frequently muddy spots along the banks of streams.
The Sallowtails continually catch the observers attention because of their size and bright colouration, the nymphalide family contains a great diversity of species , some of scintillating colours , others with low and jerky flights species distributed over the whole of Africa , the lycaenidae is the best represented diurnal family , their colour covers a range from blue to red with brown most eye spots on their wings , which ends in elongated points similar to antennae, these move gently while the butterfly is at rest . Apredator hunting by sight will see these and is deceived into confusing the butterflies front and rear . Misleading the predator by this behaviour allows the butterfly to escape.
Enjoy a Congo Gorilla Safari experience with the chance to extend into butterfly watching in Kahuzi Biega national Park.