Butterflies of Africa
Falcate Acraea
Acraea perenna  DOUBLEDAY, 1847
subfamily - ACRAEINAE
Acraea perenna, Wli Falls, Ghana / Togo border Adrian Hoskins
There are 228 Acraea species, of which 223 are Afrotropical in distribution. The majority are found in the forests and savannahs of East Africa, while about 60 are found in West Africa. Beyond Africa a further 5 species occur in the Oriental region, and another is found in Australia / New Guinea. In the neotropical region there are 50 additional species, but these are normally placed in the genera Actinote, Altinote and Abananote due to differences in venation and genitalia.
All Acraea species have elongate forewings and rounded hindwings. The wings are thinly scaled and in many species are semi-transparent. The scales wear off very easily so that insects more than 4 or 5 days old have a glassy or greasy appearance. The majority of species have a predominantly brownish or greyish ground colour, marked with bands or patches of red or orange. The basal area of the underside hindwings of most species is marked with a pattern of small black spots.
Acraea perenna is widely distributed, being found throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa with the exceptions of South Africa and Madagascar.
This species occurs in localised populations in relatively open or degraded forest, and can be found in forest-edge habitats including along wide logging roads.
The larval foodplants include Olobopetalum ( Menispermaceae ), Bridelia ( Euphorbiaceae ), Adenia( Passifloraceae ) and Mikania ( Asteraceae ).
Adult behaviour

Males are usually seen singly, imbibing mineralised moisture from muddy or damp stony ground, including at patches of urine. If disturbed they take readily to the air, and have a graceful flight. After a few minutes they usually return to the same spot. They often will feed with their wings held erect, at which time they are superbly camouflaged against stony substrates. In cool or cloudy conditions they bask with the forewings swept back and slightly raised.

Acraea perenna, Wli Falls, Ghana / Togo border Adrian Hoskins



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