Butterflies of Africa
provisional description 27 January 2013
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - ADOLIADINI
sp nov B97,
male, Bobiri, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins
There are about 95 Bebearia species,
all of which are wholly Afrotropical in distribution.
provisionally describes a new taxon discovered on 15 September 2012
by Adrian Hoskins at Bobiri Forest Reserve in southern Ghana.
scientific description will be produced in due course. Meanwhile I
am releasing the following information in the hope that further
specimens will be captured and made available for study.
The males of several Bebearia species
have a fritillary-like pattern of dark spots on a brownish or orange
The tentyris group comprises of 6
currently described species i.e.
[ = osyris ],
dallastai. The males of this group are
briefly discussed below for comparison with this newly discovered
member of the tentyris group.
In this group of
species the dark spots in spaces 1a and 1b of the outermost
transverse bands on the forewings are angled sharply inward, whereas
in the most closely related zonara
group these bands continue in a straight line from the base of space
3 to the inner margin.
Bebearia subtentyris has a dull earthy
brown ground colour, and a faint violet iridescence visible at
extreme angles of lighting. The smaller species
tentyris has a warmer brown ground
colour with a blue iridescence over the
the remaining areas reflecting a coppery hue. Intraspecific
variation is very minor, and does not affect the iridescence. In
winifredae the entire forewing and most
of the hindwing reflect a dull metallic blue sheen. In
dallastai the male has both wings
wholly covered with a sustained blue. In
lucayensis the ground colour is orange-brown with a barely
visible purple sheen covering both wings. In
carshena the ground colour is dark brown with a strong blue
iridescence over the entire surface of both wings. Members of the
previously in Ghana are winifredae,
tentyris, subtentyris and
carshena. All 5 occur at Bobiri, with
tentyris being abundant and the others
uncommon or scarce.
The taxon visually
closest to sp nov B97 is subtentyris languida
. The markings
however differ, and the ground colour and the hues reflected by the
structural scales of B97 are unique. The upperside is bright peach,
with the hindwings and spaces 1a, 1b, 2 and 3 of the forewings
overlaid with a deep violet blue iridescence. The strongly defined
area of iridescence in the discal cell and in spaces 4-12 of the
forewings is bright ochreous-green. This colour is also present on
the thorax and abdomen. The differences in structural colour between
B97 and previously described taxa cannot in the writers opinion be
attributed to intraspecific variation or aberration. The wingspan of
the male is circa 7cms, i.e. significantly greater than that of
tentyris, and about the same as
The female is unknown, but it is reasonable to assume that in common
with others in the tentyris group it
will almost certainly be found to have a
Catuna-like pattern in dark brown and cream.
The unedited images
shown on this page were photographed by natural light in sunlight
and shade, and the colours are reproduced exactly as they appeared
in the field.
The habitat at
the type location is mildly degraded humid rainforest.
Unknown, but the larval foodplant will probably be
Hypselodelphis or related
The illustrated male was
observed on a logging road, where it spent several minutes basking on
the ground in full sunlight. This behaviour is quite unlike that of
and subtentyris which in the
writers experience confine themselves to areas where dappled sunlight
filters through the canopy to ground level, and only appear in open
areas in warm but overcast conditions.
sp nov B97 male, Bobiri,
Ghana © Adrian