Butterflies of Africa
Silky Ciliate Blue
Family - LYCAENIDAE
Tribe - LYCAENESTHINI
forest, Ghana ©
The genus comprises of about 132 species. It includes the subgenera
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.
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.
adults are usually seen singly, and are much scarcer than
with which they often share their habitat. Males perch on low foliage
to await passing females, and hold their wings erect when at rest.