Butterflies of Africa
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - NYMPHALINI
© Peter Bruce-Jones
In appearance and
behaviour Antanartia could be thought
of as the African "sister" genus to the Neotropical
Hypanartia, but phylogenetic analysis
has indicated that they are more closely related to
Vanessa - the Red Admirals and Painted
comprises of 5 species, 4 of which occur on the continental land
mass, while the other - borbonica, is
found only on Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar.
Antanartia dimorphica has a disjointed
distribution, with a West African population in the mountains of
Cameroon, and an Eastern African range extending from Ethiopia south
to Malawi and Transvaal.
This is a montane species, found mostly in forested areas or on
scrubby farmland, at altitudes between about 800-2000m.
The larval foodplant is Carduus (
Males perch on the foliage of bushes to
await passing females. They usually hold their wings half-open when
perching, but will fully outspread them to bask on cool mornings or in