Butterflies of Africa
Vulgar Bush Brown
Bicyclus vulgaris BUTLER,
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
© 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.
is found from Senegal to Ethiopia, and south to western Kenya and
This species is found in savannah / forest mosaics, riverine
thickets, open disturbed woodland and scrubby farmland.
The larval foodplants are
grasses, of which many species are probably used.
butterflies are active in full sunshine but can often be found at rest
on bushes or low herbage in overcast weather.