Butterflies of Africa
Silky Ciliate Blue
Anthene lachares  HEWITSON, 1878
Anthene lachares, Bobiri forest, Ghana Adrian Hoskins
The genus comprises of about 132 species. It includes the subgenera Neurellipes, Triclema and Neurypexina, although some workers treat these as distinct genera. The genus is centred on the Afrotropical region where there are 123 species. There are also 8 species found in south-east Asia and 1 species which is endemic to Australia.
All Anthene species have three short tails on the hindwing. The uppersides of most species are dark brown, with the males having an indigo or violet sheen. In some species however both sexes have bright metallic orange uppersides with dark brown borders. The undersides are quite variable, e.g. rubricinctus is plain brown with light markings, lachares has a contrasty irregular zebra-like pattern of dark brown and white, larydas is marbled in shades of brown and white, and liodes is white with faint maculae. One characteristic shared by all species however is the group of 2 or 3 tornal spots. These are black, studded with blue scales, and almost enclosed by an orange crescent.
Anthene lachares is distributed from Sierra Leone to Congo and western Uganda.
This is a rainforest species. It can be found in glades and along logging roads, but is not normally found in clearings, or in severely degraded forests.
The larval foodplant is not recorded. Other Anthene species use a variety of plants from various families, and are often attended by ants.
Adult behaviour

The adults are usually seen singly, and are much scarcer than Anthene larydas, with which they often share their habitat. Males perch on low foliage to await passing females, and hold their wings erect when at rest.



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