Butterflies of Africa
Bush Scarlet
Axiocerses amanga   WESTWOOD, 1881
subfamily - THECLINAE
Axiocerses amanga, Nechisar NP, Ethiopia Peter Bruce-Jones
The genus Axiocerses comprises of 16 species, all Afrotropical in distribution.
All members of the genus have a tail-like extension on the hindwings. The upperside of the wings of all species is red or orange.  At first glance the butterflies can be mistaken for Hypomyrina or Deudorix species, but unlike those, the underside wings of Axiocerses are of the cryptic "dead-leaf" type, with small blackish markings on the forewings, and reddish maculae on the hindwings. They can also be mistaken for Lipaphnaeus species, but the latter have two thin tails on each hindwing.
Axiocerses amanga is found from Senegal to Ethiopia and Sudan, and south to South Africa.
This is a savannah / woodland mosaic species, which occurs at altitudes between about 100-1500m.
The usual larval foodplant is Ximenia ( Olacaceae ), but there are also records of larvae feeding on Acacia. The caterpillars are attended by Camponotus ants, which milk them for a sugary substance which is secreted from the dorsal gland.
Adult behaviour
As befits a butterfly with the name Bush Scarlet, this pretty little species is often seen perching on the foliage of bushes, basking with the bright red wings held half-open. Both sexes are fond of wild flowers, particularly the tiny white flowers of Tridax daisies.
Axiocerses amanga, Arba Minch, Ethiopia Peter Bruce-Jones


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