Butterflies of Africa
Spotted Ciliate Blue
Family - LYCAENIDAE
Tribe - LYCAENESTHINI
Falls, Ghana ©
about 132 species. It includes the subgenera
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
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 larydas is found from the
Gambia to western Kenya.
forest, Ghana ©
This species is found in relatively open rainforest habitats
including along roadsides and the edges of wide trails, and
penetrates into the savannah zone where there are patches of forest
alongside rivers or streams.
forest, Ghana ©
The caterpillars feed on Acacia,
Dichrostachys ( Fabaceae ), and
Hypericum ( Clusiaceae ). They are frequently attended by
Pheidole and Camponotus ants
which milk them to obtain sugary substances exuded from a dorsal
gland. The relationship is mutually beneficial as the presence of
ants deters predatory or parasitic wasps and flies.
adults are usually found in quite large numbers - it is not uncommon
to find 50 or more males of this species imbibing mineralised moisture
from patches of damp ground on hot sunny days.
Males perch on low foliage to await
passing females. They hold their wings erect in sunny weather but bask
with wings half open or fully open in hazy or cloudy conditions.
Females are normally seen either basking on the foliage of bushes, or
nectaring at flowers.
Anthene larydas Wli falls, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins