Gaudy Commodore Butterfly Precis octavia

Gaudy Commodore Butterfly
Gaudy Commodore Butterfly
The Gaudy Commodore is a most unusual butterfly. It is native to much of sub-Saharan Africa. The subspecies north of the equator, from West to East Africa, Precis octavia octavia, has a gaudy red and black colour and pattern as shown above and below. The subspecies south of the equator, P. o. sesamus, has the same gaudy red form for the summer adults but has a cool mid blue background with dark blue patterning and a row of large coral red spots instead of the smaller black spots around the edge for the winter individuals. Male and female have similar colouring.
Gaudy Commodore Butterfly
Gaudy Commodore Butterfly
Gaudy Commodore Butterfly
Both summer and winter forms of the southern subspecies have been reared in captivity at the same time by varying temperatures at which chrysalides were kept. Red and blue forms will mate with the same or the opposite colour. Intermediate forms with a mixture of the red and the blue patterns, rare in nature, have also been reared in captivity.