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Butterfly-themed collectible African phonecards

Wagner De Souza Tavares (Department of Research and Development, PT. Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), Pangkalan Kerinci, Indonesia)
Rani Uli Silitonga (Department of Advocacy, Kantor Hukum Sukino and Partners, Pangkalan Kerinci, Indonesia)

Collection and Curation

ISSN: 2514-9326

Article publication date: 10 January 2024

Issue publication date: 26 March 2024




Phonecards were largely used in African countries for telephone services. They have been collected by people around the world as a hobby. Images from several themes were printed in phonecards, including insects (beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, etc.). We hypothesized that the display of butterfly images in phonecards aimed to arise issues associated with butterfly endangerment and conservation status by protecting their natural habitat and/or butterfly beautifulness, and that they present “extinct” or “threatened” conservation status classification. The purpose of this study is to describe how butterfly images were used in African phonecards; to identify the butterfly species name through their images and information available in all African phonecards; and to record the most recent known geographical distribution and conservation status of butterflies.


Colnect database was assessed to identify all butterfly-themed African phonecards. International Union for Conservation of Nature database was also assessed to obtain information on the most recent known geographical distribution and conservation status of butterflies.


The species name of butterflies was identified from 6 out of 18 African phonecards. The most recent known geographical distribution of butterflies was wide across Africa and conservation status of most genera is classified as “least concern”.


The display of butterfly images in African phonecards is mostly associated with their beautifulness and least related with butterfly conservation, protection and endangerment status.



Tavares, W.D.S. and Silitonga, R.U. (2024), "Butterfly-themed collectible African phonecards", Collection and Curation, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 45-50.



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