Butterflies of Africa
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - NYMPHALINI
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.
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
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.
forest, Ghana ©