Home

 

 
Butterflies of Africa
Friar
Amauris niavius  LINNAEUS, 1758
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - DANAINAE
Tribe - DANAINI
Amauris niavius Bobiri, Ghana  Peter Bygate
Introduction
The subfamily Danainae comprises of 3 tribes: the neotropical Ithomiini, the Tellervini of Papua New Guinea, and the Danaini which have representatives worldwide. The Danaini includes the Monarchs & Tigers, Nymphs and Crows, comprises of about 190 species in total.

There are 10 Amauris species, all confined to the Afrotropical region. They are large butterflies with blackish-brown upperside, marked with conspicuous white or cream blotches.

All Amauris species are toxic to birds. If a bird attacks and tastes an Amauris it instantly vomits and suffers from nausea. Birds quickly learn to associate the colour and pattern of toxic butterflies with these unpleasant experiences, and are consequently deterred from attacking other butterflies of the same species. Several non-toxic butterflies have taken advantage of this fact, by evolving similar patterns which fool birds into leaving them alone, e.g. the colour and pattern of Amauris species is mimicked by several palatable butterflies including Hypolimnas anthedon, Graphium almansor and the female of the Mocker Swallowtail Papilio dardanus.

Amauris niavius is a widespread species, found throughout the forested belt of sub-Saharan Africa from Guinea-Bissau to Ethiopia, and south as far as Uganda and western Tanzania.

Habitats
This species is found mainly in open disturbed forest but also penetrates dense savannah.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Cynanchum, Gymnema, Marsdenia and Tylophora ( Asclepiadaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Males are usually encountered singly when imbibing mineralised moisture from muddy patches, or sequestering pyrrolizidine alkaloids from broken Heliotropium roots on logging roads. Both sexes visit a wide range of flowers.

 

Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution

Anatomy

Lifecycle

Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles

Europe

Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia

Africa

Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books

Glossary

Links

Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images

X

X

X

X

 

All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host