By Gerald Tenywa
Residents in parts of Ntinda, Naguru hill and Kololo suburbs woke up to a rare spectacle of butterflies that filled the air and many others perched on the tree leaves.
While scientists say the butterflies are used as indicators of a rich ecological system, many of the residents were not happy about the surprise appearance of the butterflies.
“I do not mind them but many people are disgusted by the unsightly appearance of the caterpillars,” said Sarah Akello, a resident of Naguru, adding that the butterflies were going to lay eggs that will turn into larvae (caterpillars) and then pupae that will become adults in a few days to come.
Her children kept in indoors in the morning and only looked out through the window to steal a glance at the swarms of dark brown butterflies. They said they were seeing such large numbers of butterflies for the first time.
An entomologist (an expert in the study of insects) who did not want to be named said forest butterflies tend to migrate to as far as Rwanda. He said he would only name the species of butterfly after presentation of a specimen (a butterfly individual).
“They usually face one direction and then take off,” he said, adding that the butterflies respond to weather changes and that they also follow favourable habitats such as wetlands and forested areas as they move. “Butterflies swarm like grasshoppers (nsenene) at a given time of the year.”
It was not only people who fed their eyes on the swarms of the butterflies but also predators including birds and lizards that ate to their fill as if they were participating in an eating competition. The butterflies also play a big role in agricultural productivity as they act as pollinators of crops.
Butterflies invade parts of Kampala