26 August 2016

Painted Lady - Tanoumah

Whist birdwatching in the Tanoumah area of southwest Saudi Arabia I came across a Painted Lady Butterfly. I have seen these hundreds of times in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia where I live but have not seen them on my many visits to the southwest until this trip. Painted Lady butterflies which is one of no less than 130 species of butterfly that occur in the Arabian region. The majority of these butterflies live in the mountainous regions of south-west Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman, but even the desert regions have their permanent and semi-permanent residents. The Painted Lady belongs to a group of butterflies which have not specialized, yet also survive. They are a migrant species and their survival strategy is based on mobility and the endless search for conditions where they can breed. The Painted Lady and other migrant butterflies are less specialized in their choice of food plant and habitat than most of the sedentary species. This is because they can't be as fussy to survive and as a result can live in harsher environments. If winter rains have been good and flora has flourished the number of Painted Lady recorded increases significantly.