Butterflies of Africa

Smoky Bean Cupid

Euchrysops malathana  BOISDUVAL, 1833
Euchrysops malathana, Bobiri, Ghana Peter Bygate
The genus Euchrysops comprises of 31 species, all but one of which are Afrotropical in distribution. The remaining species cnejus is found from India to the South Pacific and Australia.
Euchrysops are very similar to Lepidochrysops but are smaller and differ in the structure of their genitalia. Their undersides are distinctively marked with well defined spots, a series of submarginal chevrons, and an orange crowned black cubital spot. The uppersides of males are either blue or brown according to species. In females the blue scaling is usually reduced or absent but the orange cubital spot tends to be larger. Both sexes have a dark crescent or chevron at the end of the discal cell of the forewings, and a similar but smaller and paler mark on the hindwings. Several species such as osiris and barkeri are tailed in both sexes, while others including albistriata, subpallida and malathana are tail-less.
Euchrysops malathana is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including Madagascar.
This is primarily a savannah species but is invasive in degraded forest habitats, farmland, urban parks and oil palm plantations.
The larvae feed on Cajanus, Canavalia, Medicago, Phaseolus, Sphenostylis and Vigna ( Fabaceae ). They are associated with Camponotus ants and their pupae are often found within ant nests.
Adult behaviour

Both sexes nectar at Lamiaceae and other herbaceous flowering plants. Males commonly imbibe moisture from damp ground, often aggregating in large numbers.



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