Butterflies and skippers of the afrotropical region




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Type locality: Kenya: “15 m. W. of Ft. Hall, Kikuyu Co., Weithaga”.

Diagnosis: Characterized by a red median area in the forewing (Kielland, 1990).

Distribution: Kenya (highlands east of the Rift Valley).

Acraea (Acraea) atergatis Westwood, 1881
Acraea atergatis Westwood, 1881. In: Oates, F., Matabeleland and the Victoria Falls, 1st edition: 342 (331-365). London.

Acraea atergatis. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 55mm. Victoria Falls, S. Rhodesia. 7.VII.46. K.M. Pennington. (Transvaal Museum - TM3524).

Acraea atergatis. Female (aberrant). Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 57mm. Zambia, Kalulushi. 25.IV.1976 (det. Pierre). (Newport Collection).
Type locality: “Victoria Falls”.

Distribution: Malawi (Dowsett, 2004), Democratic Republic of Congo (Haut-Lomani, Cataractes, Kinshasa), Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe (north-west), Botswana (north), Namibia (north – Ovamboland).

Specific localities:

Malawi – Lengwe National Park (Dowsett, 2004).

Zambia – Ikelenge; Chingola; Mufulira; Victoria Falls (TL); Chisimba Falls; Kasama; Chinsali; Mbala; Kalulushi (Heath, et al., 2002).

Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls (Van Son, 1963); Wankie (Van Son, 1963); Sawmills (Van Son, 1963); Mutare (Van Son, 1963); Harare (Pringle, et al. 1994).

Botswana – Kasane, Chobe River (Van Son, 1963).

Namibia – Ovamboland (Van Son, 1963).

Common name:

Habitat: Open areas (Van Son, 1963) in deciduous woodland (Heath, et al., 2002).

Habits: The flight is relatively fast but quite close to the ground (Van Son, 1963). It often flies together with Acraea atolmis, a species that it somewhat resembles (Van Son, 1963).

Flight period: All year, with distinct seasonal forms (Pringle, et al. 1994).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.
eichleri van Son, 1963 (as f. of Acraea atergatis). Transvaal Museum Memoires No. 14: 75 (130 pp.). Zambia: “Livingstone”. This is the wet season form of the species (Van Son, 1963).

Acraea (Acraea) axina Westwood, 1881
Acraea axina Westwood, 1881. In: Oates, F., Matabeleland and the Victoria Falls, 1st edition: 344 (331-365). London.

Acraea axina. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 40mm. Naboomspruit. Dec. 1962. R. Badham. (Transvaal Museum - TM3532).
Type locality: [Zimbabwe]: “Tati et Gwailo fluv.”.

Distribution: Malawi (south), Zambia (south), Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa (Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Gauteng, Free State Province, KwaZulu-Natal - north), Swaziland.

Specific localities:

Zambia – Victoria Falls; Kalomo; Lusaka; Mkushi; Chipata (Heath, et al., 2002).

Zimbabwe – Harare (Cottrell).

Limpopo Province – Warmbaths (Swanepoel, 1953); Potgietersrus (Swanepoel, 1953); Polokwane (Swanepoel, 1953); Rita (Swanepoel, 1953); Munnik (Swanepoel, 1953); Sibasa (Swanepoel, 1953); Wyliespoort (Swanepoel, 1953); Vivo (Swanepoel, 1953); Louis Trichardt (Van Son, 1963); Naboomspruit (Badham); Lapalala Wilderness (Williams).

Mpumalanga – Nelspruit (Swanepoel, 1953); Barberton (Swanepoel, 1953); Kaap Muiden (Swanepoel, 1953); Lydenburg District (Swanepoel, 1953).

Gauteng – Pretoria (Swanepoel, 1953).

Free State Province – Bloemfontein (Swanepoel, 1953).

KwaZulu-Natal – Tugela River (Swanepoel, 1953); Hluhluwe district (Swanepoel, 1953).

Swaziland – Manzini (Pennington); Mlawula N. R. (www.sntc.org.sz).

Common name: Little acraea.

Habitat: Savanna.

Habits: A weak, slow flying species, which usually keeps close to the ground. Cottrell noted that males at Harare, in Zimbabwe, may fly around the top of the canopy of trees near the peaks of hills (Pringle, et al., 1994).

Flight period: All year.

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.
illuminata van Son, 1963 (as female f. of Acraea axina). Transvaal Museum Memoires No. 14: 86 (130 pp.). South Africa: “Loius Trichardt, Transvaal”.

Acraea (Acraea) braesia Godman, 1885
Acraea braesia Godman, 1885. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1885: 538 (537-541).

Type locality: [Tanzania]: “Kilima-njaro”.

Distribution: Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda (north-east), Kenya (east and north), Tanzania (north-east).

Specific localities:

Tanzania – Durget Hill in Mbulu District (Kielland, 1990); Mangola in Mbulu District (Kielland, 1990); Same in South Pare at 1000-1300 m (Kielland, 1990); Ngaruka below the Ngorongoro Highland (Kielland, 1990); Foot of Mount Meru at Karamu (Cordeiro, 1995); Tarangire National Park (Cordeiro, 1995); Moshi (Cordeiro, 1995); Machame on the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro (Baker, vide Cordeiro, 1995).

Habitat: Dry thornbush country in Tanzania (Kielland, 1990).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.
leucosoma Staudinger, 1885 in Staudinger and Schatz, 1884-8 (as sp. of Acraea). Exotischer Schmetterlinge 1: 84 (333 pp.). Bayern. Kenya: “Kitui”.
regalis Oberthür, 1893 (as sp. of Acraea). Études d’Entomologie 17: 20 (17-36). Tanzania: “Kilimandjaro (Afrique Orientale)”.
mystica Neave, 1904 (as sp. of Acraea). Novitates Zoologicae 11: 327 (323-363). Kenya: “Kisumu”.
ochracea Le Doux, 1931 (as ssp. of Acraea nohara). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1931: 51 (49-59). Kenya: “Kibwezi, Brit. Ost-Afrika”.
lucida Talbot, 1932 (as f. of Acraea bresia [sic]). Bulletin of the Hill Museum, Witley 4: 185 (182-188). Somalia: “Buran”.
leucofasciata Stoneham, 1943 (as female f. of Acraea braesia). Bulletin of the Stoneham Museum (45): 3 (4 pp.). Kenya: “Malindi, Kenya Coast”.

Acraea (Acraea) buettneri Rogenhofer, 1890
Acraea buettneri Rogenhofer, 1890. Annalen des (K.K.) Naturhistorischen Museums. Wien 4: 553 (547-554).

Acraea buettneri. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 45mm. Hippo Pools, Chingola, Zambia. 14 April, 1974. A. Heath. (Gardiner Collection).
Type locality: Democratic Republic of Congo: “Fallstation des oberen Congo”.

Distribution: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zambia (north-west and Copperbelt).

Specific localities:

Zambia – Ikelenge; Solwezi; Kanshanshi; near the Kafue River 12 km north of Chingola (Heath, et al., 2002).

Common name: Buettner’s acraea.

Habitat: Woodland.

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.
felina Trimen, 1891 (as sp. of Acraea). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1891: 65 (59-107). Angola: “Humbe, Cunenè River”; Namibia: “Okavango River; Omrora, Otiembora”.
parapetraea Schouteden, 1919 (as ssp. of Acraea buettneri). Revue Zoologique Africaine 6: 152 (145-162). Democratic Republic of Congo: “kilometre 219 de Kindu”.
contracta Le Doux, 1923 (as female f. of Acraea buettneri). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1923: 216 (207-226). Democratic Republic of Congo: “Kimuenza (Belgisch-Kongo)”.
nigroapicalis Overlaet, 1955 (as f. of Acraea buettneri). Exploration du Parc National de l’Upemba 27: 81 (1-106). Democratic Republic of Congo: “Mabwe, 585 m., Upemba”.

Acraea (Acraea) caecilia (Fabricius, 1781)
Papilio caecilia Fabricius, 1781. Species Insectorum 2: 34 (499 pp.). Hamburgi & Kilonii.

Type locality: “Africa aequinoctiali”.

Distribution: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi.

Common name: Pink acraea.

Habitat: Savanna (Larsen, 2005a). In West Africa the species spreads southwards during the dry season (Larsen, 2005a). In Tanzania in dry thornbush and savanna country from sea-level to 1 950 m (Kielland, 1990).

Habits: In the West African savanna it becomes common just before the onset of the rainy season. Individuals often fly long distances with a slow, direct flight. They are often seen at flowers (Larsen, 2005a). In Tanzania they were noted flying low down in open grassy glades in forest (Congdon & Collins, 1998).

Early stages:
Bernaud, 1994b [(Cameroon)].
Larval food:

Adenia cissampeloides (Planch) Harms (Passifloraceae) [Van Someren, 1974: 323].

Wormskioldia pilosa (Turneraceae) [Bernaud, 1994; Cameroon].

Wormskioldia species (Turneraceae) [Collins, vide Congdon & Collins, 1998: 32; Cameroon].

Adenia species (Passifloraceae) [Congdon & Collins, 1998; improbable].
Acraea (Acraea) caecilia caecilia (Fabricius, 1781)
Papilio caecilia Fabricius, 1781. Species Insectorum 2: 34 (499 pp.). Hamburgi & Kilonii.

Type locality: “Africa aequinoctiali”.

Distribution: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria (north), Chad, Sudan (south), Democratic Republic of Congo (north), Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya (west), Tanzania (north-west).

Specific localities:

Sierra Leone – Freetown (Owen & Chanter, 1972).

Nigeria – Okwangwo (Larsen, 2005a); Oban Hills (Larsen, 2005a).

Tanzania – Rumanyika Game Reserve, Karagwe District (Congdon & Collins, 1998).
hypatia Drury, 1782 (as sp. of Papilio). Illustrations of Natural History 3: index et 15 (76 pp.). London. Sierra Leone: “Sierra Leon”.
artemesa Stoll, 1790, in Stoll, [1787-90] (as sp. of Papilio). Die Uitlandsche Kapellen voorkomende in de drie waerrelddeelen Asia, Africa en America [Supplement]: 123 ([184 pp.]) Amsterdam. Sierra Leone: “Sierra Leon”.
bendis Hübner, 1819 in Hübner, [1816-[1826]] (as sp. of Telchinia). Verzeichniss bekannter Schmettlinge 27 (432 + 72 pp.). Augsburg. No locality given.
varia Le Doux, 1923 (as female f. of Acraea caecilia). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1923: 217 (207-226). Sierra Leone: “Blana”.
Acraea (Acraea) caecilia kulal van Someren, 1936
Acraea caecilia kulal van Someren, 1936. Journal of the East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society 12: 154 (147-199).

Type locality: Kenya: “Kulal”.

Distribution: Kenya (north - Mt Kulal and Mt Marsabit).
Acraea (Acraea) caecilia pudora Aurivillius, 1910
Acraea caecilia f. pudora Aurivillius, 1910. In: Sjöstedt, B. Y., Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Schweidischen zoologischen Expedition nach dem Kilimandjaro, dem Meru und den umgebeden Massaisteppen Deutsch-OstAfrikas 1905-1906. 2 (9): 4 (56 pp.). Stockholm.

Type locality: Tanzania: “Kilimandjaro, Kibonoto aus der Massaisteppe; Meru-Niederung”.

Distribution: Kenya (east), Tanzania (east and central), Malawi (north).

Specific localities:

Tanzania – Rondo near Lindi (Kielland, 1990); Morogoro (Kielland, 1990); Usambara Mountains (Kielland, 1990); Ruaha National Park (Kielland, 1990); Tabora (Kielland, 1990).
umbrina Aurivillius, 1910 (as ab. of Acraea caecilia). In: Sjöstedt, B. Y., Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Schweidischen zoologischen Expedition nach dem Kilimandjaro, dem Meru und den umgebeden Massaisteppen Deutsch-OstAfrikas 1905-1906. 2 (9): 4 (56 pp.). Stockholm. Tanzania: “Kilimandjaro: Massaisteppe”.
nuda Wichgraf, 1914 (as ab. of Acraea caecilia). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitung 1914: 349 (345-353). Tanzania: “Deutsch-Ostafrika”.

Acraea (Acraea) caldarena Hewitson, 1877
Acraea caldarena Hewitson, 1877. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 14: 52 (51-52).

Acraea caldarena caldarena. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 51mm. Pietersburg, Transvaal. March, 1934. D.A. Swanepoel. (Transvaal Museum - TM3525).
Type locality: “Lake Nyassa”; South Africa: “Transvaal”.

Distribution: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia?, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland (Van Son, 1963).

Common name: Black-tipped acraea.

Habitat: Dry savanna (Van Son, 1963; Pringle et al., 1994). In Tanzania in Brachystegia woodland and savanna, from 1 000 to 1 300 m (2 000 m on Sitebi Mt.) for the nominate subspecies and in woodland and savanna, from near sea-level to 1 200 m for subspecies nelusca (Kielland, 1990).

Habits: The flight is slow and usually not more than a metre above the ground. Both sexes are fond of flowers (Van Son, 1963).

Flight period: All year but commonest from August to March (Pringle, et al. 1994).

Early stages:
Fountaine, 1911: 60.

“The larva of this butterfly also feeds on the flowers and leaves of Wormskioldia longepedunculata; it is of a soft pink rose-colour, shading into yellow at the extremities, underneath it has a longitudinal white stripe between the legs, extending from head to tail; the spines are black. The pupa is not quite so elongated as that of A. nohara, the wing-cases are pale, dull drab veined and outlined with black, the abdomen is deep cream-colour, with the rows of orange spots so heavily outlined with black as to be almost coalescent. I found this larva, but not at all commonly, at Macequence.”


Van Someren and Rogers, 1925 No. 23: 142.
Clark, in Van Son, 1963: 79; plate XXIII.

Egg. The eggs are laid singly or only two or three together; 0.75 mm in diameter by 0.95 mm high, with 16 longitudinal and 16 cross-ribs; pale watery cream at first, deepening to pale dull yellow. The egg-stage lasts 8 days. Larva. 1st instar 1.5 mm long on hatching, very pale at first, with very finely barbed black spines; the colour gradually changes to pale yellowish brown. Head black. The larva grows to 3.5 mm in 7 days. It feeds on the surface of a leaf. 2nd instar: The body is covered with a very fine fur, it is pale greenish yellow with a black head. The larva feeds mostly on the edge of a leaf. The larvae gradually change to unicolorous brown in the next instars, but in the penultimate instar a white ventral line develops and is also present in the final instar. The head changes through shades of brown to pale salmon and the body protuberances change from a brownish grey to black. All have black spines. The extremities in all instars except the first are lighter than the general body colour, and in the final instar they are of a salmon tint. The larvae grow in the second instar to 6.5 mm in 7 days, in the 3rd instar to 10 mm in 7 days, in the 4th to 18 mm in 10 days, and in the penultimate instar reach a length of 27 mm in 20 days. The maximum length in the final instar is 32 mm, reached in 22 days. Pupa. The pupa is 22 mm long and is suspended by cremastral hooks. The emergence takes place after some 17 days.”


Larval food:

Tricliceras longipedunculatum (Mast.) R. Fernandes (Turneraceae) [Fountaine, 1911: 60; as Wormskioldia longepedunculata; nominate subspecies; Macequece, Mozambique].

Adenia cissampeloides (Planch) Harms (Passifloraceae) [Van Someren, 1974: 323].
Acraea (Acraea) caldarena caldarena Hewitson, 1877
Acraea caldarena Hewitson, 1877. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 14: 52 (51-52).

Acraea caldarena caldarena. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 51mm. Pietersburg, Transvaal. March, 1934. D.A. Swanepoel. (Transvaal Museum - TM3525).
Type locality: “Lake Nyassa”; South Africa: “Transvaal”.

Distribution: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (Shaba), Sudan, Ethiopia?, Kenya (inland), Tanzania (west), Malawi, Zambia (except north-west), Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana (east and north), Namibia, South Africa (Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Gauteng, Free State Province), Swaziland (Van Son, 1963).

Specific localities:

Tanzania – Tukuyu (Kielland, 1990); Kigoma (Kielland, 1990); Tabora (Kielland, 1990).

Zambia – Chingola; Ndola; Mpongwe; Kabwe; Mumbwa; Lusaka; Victoria Falls; Luangwa ValleyIsoka; Mbala (Heath, et al., 2002).

Mozambique – Macequece (Fountaine, 1911); Mineni Valley (Van Son, 1963); Dondo Forest (Pennington teste Pringle et al., 1994).

Botswana – Khamas country (Van Son, 1963); Macloutsie River (Van Son, 1963); Tati River (Van Son, 1963); Kasane (Van Son, 1963); Kabulabula (Chobe River) (Van Son, 1963).

Namibia – Ovamboland (Van Son, 1963).

Limpopo Province – Gravelotte (Swanepoel, 1953); Munnik (Swanepoel, 1953); Sibasa (Swanepoel, 1953); Louis Trichardt (Swanepoel, 1953); Vivo (Swanepoel, 1953); Dendron (Swanepoel, 1953); Polokwane (Swanepoel, 1953); Potgietersrus (Swanepoel, 1953); Waterberg (Swanepoel, 1953); Legalameetse Nature Reserve (“Malta Forest”).

Mpumalanga – Barberton (Swanepoel, 1953); Komatipoort (Swanepoel, 1953); Lydenburg district (Swanepoel, 1953).

Gauteng – Pretoria (Swanepoel, 1953); Johannesburg (Swanepoel, 1953).

Free State Province – Kroonstad (Van Son, 1963).
amphimalla Westwood, 1881 (as sp. of Acraea). In: Oates, F., Matabeleland and the Victoria Falls, 1st edition: 347 (331-365). London. South Africa: “Tati, et marg. fluv. Motloutsi”. Given as a synonym of A. caldarena Hewitson, 1877 by Van Son, 1963: 77.
dircaea Westwood, 1881 (as sp. of Acraea). In: Oates, F., Matabeleland and the Victoria Falls, 1st edition: 348 (331-365). London. South Africa: “Tati, and the Motloutsi River”.
nero Butler, 1883 (as sp. of Telchinia). Annals and Magazine of Natural History (5) 12: 102 (101-107). “Victoria Nyanza”.
recaldana Suffert, 1904 (as ssp. of Acraea caldarena). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, Iris 17: 27 (12-107). Tanzania: “Umgegend von Tabora”.
mediofasciata Neustetter, 1916 (as female ab. of Acraea caldarena). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, Iris 30: 98 (95-108). South Africa: “Natal”.
latiapicalis Joicey and Talbot, 1921 (as ssp. of Acraea leucopyga). Bulletin of the Hill Museum, Witley 1: 50 (40-166). Democratic Republic of Congo: “Kabala, Upper Congo”.
pallida Le Doux, 1923 (as f. of Acraea caldarena caldarena). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1923: 209 (207-226). Namibia: “Livingstone (Deutsch-Südwestafrika)”.
necessaria Le Doux, 1923 (as ssp. of Acraea caldarena). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1923: 209 (207-226). Democratic Republic of Congo: “Katanga (Belgisch-Kongo)”.
obscuroides Le Doux, 1923 (as female f. of Acraea caldarena necessaria). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1923: 211 (207-226). Democratic Republic of Congo: “Katanga (Belgisch-Kongo)”.
decepta Le Doux, 1923 (as female f. of Acraea caldarena necessaria). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1923: 211 (207-226). Democratic Republic of Congo: “Katanga (Belgisch-Kongo)”.
kohambullensis Le Doux, 1923 (as female f. of Acraea caldarena necessaria). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1923: 212 (207-226). Democratic Republic of Congo: “Kohambullo (Kongo)”.
marginipunctata Le Doux, 1931 (as f. of Acraea caldarena intermedia). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1931: 55 (49-59). [Democratic Republic of Congo]: “Region de M’Pala, Tanganyika”.
Acraea (Acraea) caldarena neluska Oberthür, 1878
Acraea oncaea var. neluska Oberthür, 1878. Études d’Entomologie 3: 25 (1-48).

Type locality: Tanzania: “Zanzibar”.

Diagnosis: Forewing black apical patch reduced; hindwing black margin without orange lunules (Kielland, 1990).

Distribution: Kenya (coast), Tanzania (coast).

Specific localities:

Tanzania – Coast (Kielland, 1990); Uluguru Mountains (Kielland, 1990); Turiani in the Nguru Mountains (Kielland, 1990); Mikumi National Park (Kielland, 1990).
ombria Weymer, 1892 (as sp. of Acraea). Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 53: 82 (79-125). Tanzania: “Saadani (Ostafrika)”; “Niassa-See”.

Acraea (Acraea) doubledayi Guérin-Méneville, 1849
Acraea doubledayi Guérin-Méneville, 1849. In: Lefebrve, T., Voyage en Abyssinie (4) 6 (Zooologie): 378 (364-386).

Type locality: Ethiopia: “Abyssinie”.
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