The Scarlet Tip, Colotes dannae annae
A few weeks ago I noted that I had been able to collect a number of photographs of particular butterflies and would therefore post a short species post. Herewith the first one on one of my favourites, the Scarlet Tip, Colotes dannae annae. To me this has always been a very special butterfly, it was one of the first “tips” that I ever became acquanted with (I remember the first very well, the Suphur tip, Colotes auxo, that we found next to the N3 in Ashburton while hitch-hiking back to our base in the army a very long time ago) The Scarlet tip became a familiar site to me whenever chasing butterflies throughout the northern areas in the country, from Limpopo through to Kosi bay we would see them. I remember driving along the road between Jozini and Kosi Bay in Northern KwaZulu-Natal with friends Johan Greyling and Harald Selb and seeing millions of pierids feeding on flowers next to the road. Long with the masses of Colotes vesta, C Calais, C regina, C ione and the masses of orange tips and other whites there were huge numbers of the Scarlet Tip. It was the first Pierid that I ever bred in Gaborone, Botswana and is always a beauty to see emerge.
The butterfly is found in open to wooded savannah areas of Eastern Southern Africa from King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape through to the Limpopo province in wherever its foodplant, Cabada termitaria, Cabada natalensis and Maerua angolensis are found. The insect flies throughout the year with a dry and wet season form being recognised. It flies fairly fast, feeding frequently and is best seen earlier in the morning when it is cooler and they sit warming themselves up.