The Mozambique Defence Armed Forces (FADM) had warned South Africa to stop their butterflies from entering Mozambique illegally.
In a statement directed to the South African government, the Mozambique Defence Armed Forces said sending millions of cute butterflies to enter Mozambique illegally is an act of war. “We will use force to strike them down because they are going to lay eggs here that will eventually become useless caterpillars that will eat all the vegetation.
“Next year we will send you the caterpillars before they eat all our grazing lands. Mozambique is not a wasteland where you dump your unwanted insects. If you think they are cute and harmless you are wrong, we will see what you say when we send millions of caterpillars to you next year.
The Mozambique Defence Armed Forces said they don’t have a problem with a normal amount of butterflies that enters Mozambique every year but this year South Africa is out of line.
Are all our butterflies really invading Mozambique?
According to information on the Conservation of Butterflies in South Africa website, this is a normal part of the ecosystem.
The white butterflies, commonly known as the brown-veined white butterfly, migrate every summer. They come together in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State to move through Gauteng and Mpumalanga to reach Mozambique. As the butterflies move, they create a sense of urgency in other butterflies that join the masses.
“They then pass through in the hope to reach Mozambique, in the surrounding district near Ponte and head directly east into the sea in an attempt to cross the ocean to reach Madagascar and further north into Africa and even further to their unknown destinations,” writes Earle Whiteley.
According to Whitley, once they reach Mozambique they move east towards Madagascar but die en route because of dehydration.