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The Small Striped Swordtail can have a wingspan of up to 6.5 cm while the Large Striped Swordtail reaches 7.5 cm. This is not a good feature to separate these two species. An easier way is to look at the turquoise bands in the forewing. Those of the Small Striped Butterfly are straight and not wavy.
Male and female have similar colouration but the female is a bit bigger.
The Small Striped Swordtail is a fast flyer and not easy to get near to.
In South Africa its distribution is restricted to the eastern regions from around Port St. Johns to northern KwaZulu-Natal.
It favours wooded regions such as coastal forest where it may be seen along the forest edge.