Butterflies of Africa
Orange Admiral
Antanartia delius  DRURY, 1782
subfamily - NYMPHALINAE
Antanartia delius, Bobiri forest, Ghana Adrian Hoskins
In appearance and behaviour Antanartia could be thought of as the African "sister" genus to the Neotropical Hypanartia, but phylogenetic analysis has indicated that they are actually more closely related to the Red Admirals and Painted Ladies - Vanessa.
Antanartia comprises of 5 species, 4 of which occur on the continental land mass, while the other - borbonica, is found only on Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar.
The Orange Admiral Antanartia delius is a widespread and common species, which is distributed from Sierra Leone to Congo, Uganda and western Tanzania.
This species is found in forest glades and clearings, along logging roads, in forest edge habitats, and on overgrown farmland, at altitudes between sea level and about 800m.
The main larval foodplant in West Africa is Musanga ( Moraceae ) although Australina, Urtica and Pouzolzia are apparently used in other areas.
Adult behaviour

In overcast weather males can sometimes be seen basking with wings fully outspread. In sunny conditions they usually perch on the leaf of a bush, with wings held half open. There they wait for passing females, chasing them up into nearby trees where copulation takes place.

Neither sex seem to be attracted to flowers, but both will visit decomposing fruit.

Antanartia delius, Bobiri forest, Ghana Adrian Hoskins



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