The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Small White

Afrikaans name: Kusstreekwitjie

African Small White

African Small White

Photo © Steven Herbert

Dixeia charina charina

As its name implies the African Small White is smallish in size and predominantly white in colour. The upperside of the wing has a few black spots along the edge of the forewing while the female has brownish patches towards the edge of the wing. Males can reach a wingspan of 40 mm with females being a bit bigger.

In South Africa they can be found all year round although the population peaks in Summer and Autumn.

They only occur along the eastern region of South Africa from Mossel Bay to southern Kruger National Park. They can be found in a variety of habitats including coastal areas, forest margins, flat areas and hillsides.

Males establish a territory on the edge of the forest and patrol it regularly. Females tend to be less visible as they tend to spend more time in the shelter of the forest.

African Small White

African Small White

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Butterflies of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Mark Williams - Published: 1994 - Page: 39

Butterflies of the Western Cape - Author: A.J.M. Claassens - Published: 2005 - Page: 56

Familiar South African Butterflies - Author: Clive Quickelberge - Published: 1986 - Page: 51

Living Butterflies of Southern Africa - Volume 1 - Author: G.A. Henning et al - Published: 1997 - Page: 344

Ivor Migdolls Field Guide to the Butterflies of Southern Africa - Author: Ivor Migdoll - Published: 1987 - Page: 229

Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Steve Woodhall - Published: 2020 - Page: 354

Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa - 1st edition - Author: Steve Woodhall - Published: 2005 - Page: 338


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