Butterflies of Africa
Indigo Ciliate Blue
Family - LYCAENIDAE
Tribe - LYCAENESTHINI
Bobiri forest, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins
The genus Anthene
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
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 rubricinctus is distributed
from Sierra Leone to Angola and Malawi.
This species is found in relatively open woodland habitats including
along roadsides and the edges of wide trails.
The larva has been reared in captivity on
Pterocarpus ( Fabaceae ), but the foodplant used in the wild
state is unknown.
adults are usually found in two's and three's, often sharing their
habitats with larydas, but while males of
the latter tend to gather to imbibe moisture from patches of damp
ground, rubricinctus are more often seen
perching on low foliage or on rocks, where they await passing females.