Butterflies of Africa
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - ADOLIADINI
Bobiri forest, Ghana
comprises of a yet to be discerned number of large and very
beautiful forest-dwelling butterflies, all found on the African
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 insects illustrated by Hecq
but it is unclear whether these are examples of intra-specific
variation, distinct taxa or hybrids.
share a common wing shape.
have a similar pattern on the upperside - typically the basal areas
of the wings ( particularly the hindwings ) have large
patches of metallic blue, green, orange or red.
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.
an uncommon species, found only in
Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.
As with all
Euphaedra species, this butterfly
tropical rainforest. It
is found at altitudes between sea level and about 400m.
larval foodplant is Sorindeia (
Both sexes fly close to the ground,
elegantly weaving their way through the forest undergrowth. They do so
with great adeptness, and are very graceful in flight.
Females, and to a lesser extent males, are strongly attracted to
clusters of fallen fruits, particularly Ficus,
and patrol back and forth along forest paths in search of them. It is
not unusual for groups of up to 30 Euphaedra
and Bebearia butterflies of various
species to aggregate at such feeding sites.
sexes are often seen basking with wings outspread, either in sunspots
on the forest floor, or on the foliage of bushes in light gaps.
Females sometimes fan their wings slowly open and closed when feeding.