The largely unexplored wilderness of Salonga National Park allows fascinating discoveries: because many areas where no explorer has yet come still exist!

Thus, the discovery of new species in Salonga is only just beginning and we can look forward to many more findings.

As part of a study, a team of researchers discovered a butterfly species in Salonga in 2016.

Stempfferia salonga

Stempfferia salonga is one of probably well over one-thousand butterfly species that the park harbours and the first one recognised among other undescribed species that likely still hide deep in the Congo Basin forests.

S. salonga has been found in Monkoto on Luilaka River in the buffer zone of Salonga National Park.

It was rather frequent in Monkoto village around prominent ant-infested trees, which were planted during the Belgian colonial times as a tree-avenue, between the town and the small port on the Luilaka River.

There are more than 1,300 different species of butterflies in the DRC – in no other country worldwide this number is larger.

Butterflies play a crucial role in flower pollination. Their feet help them to taste their food as well as smell to help in mating.

Most butterflies spend their lifetimes eating and mating. The females lay eggs on the plants that would be a good meal for the future caterpillars.


Fun facts about butterflies.