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Butterflies of Africa
Red-barred Acraea
Acraea ventura  HEWITSON, 1877
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - ACRAEINAE
Tribe - ACRAEINI
Acraea ventura, female, Mughese, Malawi Bernaud Dominique
Introduction
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 ventura is found in eastern Africa from Ethiopia to Zambia.
Habitats
This species usually inhabits open savannah, often in the vicinity of swamps or rivers, but can also be encountered in forest clearings.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplant is Cassia.
Adult behaviour

Males, as with many other Acraea species, commonly settle on damp ground to imbibe mineralised moisture. Females are usually only seen when nectaring.

 

 

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