Butterflies of Africa
Brown-spot Bush Brown
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
Bicyclus madetes, Aburi, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins
Bicyclus is the most numerous of the
Satyrine genera in Africa, comprising of about 85 species, 50 of
which occur in West Africa. The butterflies are collectively known
as Bush Browns, and can be thought of as the sister genus to the
Bicyclus are characterised by having a
regular series of submarginal ocelli on the hindwings, and a pair of
ocelli on the forewings, of which the lower ocellus is always the
largest. In most species the ocelli are very prominent, but in a few
species such as sweadneri they are
vestigial, especially in the dry season morph. Most species have
very rounded wings, but again there are a few exceptions such as
zinebi which has a squarish apex on its
forewings, and sambulos which has a
stumpy "tail" on the hindwings.
Bicyclus madetes is found from Guinea
and Sierra Leone to the Congo.
This species inhabits lush grassy areas within forest habitats, and
can be found along logging roads and trails in the damper parts of
the forest. It tolerates habitat degradation well.
The larval foodplants are grasses, of which several species are
butterflies are usually seen in modest numbers, sitting on grass
blades or on low herbage.