Butterflies of Africa
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - ADOLIADINI
© Peter Bygate
There are about 70
species, all of which are found in the forests of the Afrotropics.
are similar in appearance to Bebearia
but are generally smaller, and their hindwings are deeper and with a
straighter costa. On the upperside the males of some species e.g.
coerulea and veronica are grey
with a vague metallic steely-blue sheen. Others including
gambiae have a reddish-brown ground colour. All have
distinctive dark bars in the cell of the forewings and suffused dark
markings over the rest of the wings. Many also have a series of
small white dots arranged in an arc at the apex.
obani and gambiae have a
Catuna-like pattern of brown and cream.
Most other species
a reddish-brown ground colour, a dark apex, and a broken white or
cream diagonal band across the forewings.
is distributed from Cote d'Ivoire to northern Angola, Congo and
male, Boabeng-Fiema, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins
This species is found in
closed-canopy forest. It can be found in degraded forest but only if
there is a core area of good quality forest nearby.
The lifecycle of
appears to be unrecorded, but the following generalisations apply to
the genus Euriphene: Several species
are known to use Combretaceae as larval foodplants. The larvae have
long multi-branched lateral spines. Pupation takes place at the end
of a twig. Prior to pupation the larva spins a silk web on the twig
and wets it with a noxious yellow fluid which deters ants.
Both sexes can
be found on forest trails where patches of dappled sunlight filter
down to the forest floor. The best description of their behaviour
comes from Fox who writes: "These places appear to attract the
butterflies that everywhere else on the forest floor are to be seen
only as elusive ghost-like flashes. As one walks along a trail the
butterflies rise up ahead and re-alight, repeating the process as one
nears them again."