Uganda is a spectacular area and one of the finest regions for the butterfly enthusiast. Uganda hosts about 33% of the total of all Afro tropical species with over 1,235 species of butterfly having been recorded in Uganda, 31 of which are endemic to Uganda Some 117 butterfly species are listed, all of which are found exclusively within the Albertine Rift. This does not include subspecies, of which there are approximately 700 subspecies.
The breakdown of species numbers for each family are the following; Papilionidae: 31 species, Pieridae: 99 species, Lycaenidae: 479 species, Nymphalidae: 447 species and Hesperiidae: 231 species. There are currently 35 species that are considered to be endemic within the country, the majority being from the Family Lycaenidae which contributes 80% of all endemic species. The smallest species are not bigger than a fingernail and the largest swallowtails are larger than the smallest birds. Butterflies provide aesthetic appeal and are connected with all plants and crops at all stages of their life cycle. The fact of the matter is that most butterfly species have an average lifespan ranging from 20 to 40 days. A few species may live up to nine months.
Butterflies can only see the colors red, green and yellow, they are dark colored because they need to absorb heat from the surrounding environment, do not have any chewing mouth parts, they are gifted with a tubular straw like appendage known as proboscis which enables them to sip nectar. Butterflies “smell” with their antennae and taste with their feet, they are one of the few creatures on earth that can orient themselves both in latitude and longitude. Male butterflies attract females by releasing pheromone chemicals (scent) from their abdomen.
Butterflies and moths are picky in choosing leaves for egg laying and when folded, a butterfly’s wings are usually much less colorful, providing instant camouflage from would-be predators. Butterflies are the only insect that has scales and it contain pigment, which in combination with light refraction gives butterflies their colors.
The great east African rift valley contains a wide variety of habitats and among them is the mountain of the moon-Rwenzori, savannah grasslands and woodlands, rain forests, gorges of Kyambura and Butiaba. We will explore these habitats, many of them protected within the National Parks, in search of a wealth of butterflies, as well as enjoying the area’s rich flora and many birds. Although butterflies are the main focus of our butterfly tours, we also take time to observe other wildlife on your visit to Uganda the Perl of Africa. Who can fail to be delighted by butterflies -the greatness and variety of their colors, their delicate beauty and fascinating life cycles? Visiting Uganda allows butterfly watching enthusiasts to observe most of the amazing species around the country.
Being amongst the most colorful and exceptional of invertebrate taxa, as well as diurnal inhabit, more is known about the ecology and taxonomy of butterflies than any other major insect group. Butterflies and moths are some of the most fascinating and eye-catching flying insects in the world. A vast majority is brightly colored and is found all over the world, except in the Antarctica region. They are indeed one of the planet’s most beautiful creatures. People from all walks of life, irrespective of race, color or religion enjoy these beautiful winged flying jewels for their delicate beauty mostly found in tropical rainforests.