Butterflies of Africa
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - ADOLIADINI
comprises of a yet to be discerned number of large and very
beautiful forest-dwelling butterflies, all found on the African
continent. In 1997 Hecq revised the genus and at that time listed a
total of 180 species. This figure is challenged by other workers who
believe that many of these are merely local forms or subspecies.
However in 2012 Hecq produced a further revision of the
eleus species-group, describing an
additional 12 species, bringing the total in the genus to 192. When
working in the field it is immediately obvious that there are a huge
number of specimens that are noticeably dissimilar to any of the
insect illustrated by Hecq but it is unclear whether these are
examples of intra-specific variation, distinct taxa or hybrids.
Euphaedra species share a common wing
Most have a similar pattern on the upperside - typically the basal
areas of the wings ( particularly the hindwings ) have large
suffused patches of metallic blue, green, orange or red. Most
species also have a cream or orange sub-apical bar. The undersides
are usually some shade of yellow or green, marked with black spots
and streaks that vary in intensity and configuration according to
taxon and locality. Many species also have beautiful pink patches or
streaks on the underside hindwings.
is a West African species found from Liberia to Cameroon and Gabon.
with all Euphaedra species, this
butterfly is an inhabitant of tropical rainforest. It can be found
at altitudes between sea level and about 500m.
The larval foodplants are probably members of the Annonaceae.
Both sexes are strongly attracted
to clusters of fallen fruits, particularly Ficus,
and patrol back and forth across glades or along forest paths in
search of them. They are usually encountered singly. In common with
Euphaedra species they are very alert,
and if approached they fan their wings nervously before flying up to
settle on a leaf in the shade, usually at a height of about 2m. Once
the perceived danger has passed, they usually return to resume