Butterflies of Africa
FELDER & FELDER, 1860
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - LIMENITIDINAE
Tribe - ADOLIADINI
female, Wli Falls, Ghana © Adrian Hoskins
There are about 95 Bebearia
species, all of which are found in the forests of the Afrotropics.
mandinga and several other Bebearia species
have a brown or orange ground colour, with a linear pattern of black spots that
is reminiscent of the Fritillaries of the Holarctic.
The upperside of the female of mandinga has a
Catuna-like pattern of brown and cream. On the
underside mandinga has a cryptic 'dead leaf'
pattern, as do most other Bebearia species.
mandinga is distributed from Sierra Leone to Congo and Uganda.
This is a rainforest butterfly which
is found in the greatest numbers in undisturbed areas, although it also occurs
in degraded or secondary forest.
eggs are laid in heaps on the leaves of the larval foodplant
Hypselodelphus ( Marantaceae ). The spectacular
caterpillars are green, and adorned with an array of multi-branched lateral
spines which are appressed to the leaf on which they are resting.
The Fritillary-like males tend
to be found in more open sunlit situations than the females, and
can often be seen sunning themselves in places where shafts of
sunlight reach the ground. They also appear commonly at
forest-edge habitats where they bask on the lower foliage of
are at least equally abundant, but spend most of their time in the
shadier parts of the forest understorey, although they can
often be seen basking on foliage early in the day, and again
in the late afternoon.
Bebearia mandinga male,
© Adrian Hoskins