The smallest of all known butterflies, the Dwarf Blue (Oraidium barberae), is found in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The wingspan of the Dwarf Blue, which is measured from where the wing is attached to the body to the tip or apex of the wing, is only 10-15 mm for males and 12-18 mm for females. The butterfly, which prefers savanna or grassveld areas, is found in northern KwaZulu-Natal, in parts of the Free State, in the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape up to the Namaqualand.
There are about 28 000 species of butterflies throughout the world of which slightly more than 660 species are found in South Africa.
The largest butterfly in the world is the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing, which has a wingspan up to approx. 300 mm. This tropical butterfly can be found in the rainforests of northern Papua New Guinea.