05 December 2023

African Migrant - Either

Whilst birding the waterfront Al-Hambas Park in Either, southwestern Saudi Arabia in late November we found a single African Migrant Catopsilia florella. It was feeding on a flowering plant but was very fast and never settled for any time at all making photography almost impossible. I did manage to get one photo shown below. They are found from the Canary Islands across sub-Saharan Africa, through Egypt and Arabia (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman) to India and China. It has a number of common names such as African Migrant, African Emigrant, or Common Vagrant. In Eastern Saudi Arabia it is only found in the Tuwayq Hills west and north of Riyadh, frequenting wadis with abandoned date plantations and sand bars. The one we saw was in the west of the Kingdom where they are more regular. The adult is 65 – 75 mm. A very fast and direct flyer, most often seen dashing along the edges of plantations. It is, however, rare and may only be a migrant in this area, occurring in April, although in Western Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) it flies from March to July. Like Catopsilia pomona, this species also has a habit of migration.