Butterflies of Africa
Western Blue-banded Forester
Euphaedra eupalus  FABRICIUS, 1781
Euphaedra eupalus, Bobiri, Ghana Adrian Hoskins
The genus Euphaedra comprises of a yet to be discerned number of large and very beautiful forest-dwelling butterflies, all found on the African continent. In 1997 Hecq revised the genus and at that time listed a total of 180 species. This figure is challenged by other workers who believe that many of these are merely local forms or subspecies. However in 2012 Hecq produced a further revision of the eleus species-group, describing an additional 12 species, bringing the total in the genus to 192. When working in the field it is immediately obvious that there are a huge number of specimens that are noticeably dissimilar to any of the insects illustrated by Hecq but it is unclear whether these are examples of intra-specific variation, distinct taxa or hybrids.
All Euphaedra species share a common wing shape. Most have a similar pattern on the upperside - typically the basal areas of the wings ( particularly the hindwings ) have large suffused patches of metallic blue, green, orange or red. Most species also have a cream or orange sub-apical bar. The undersides are usually some shade of yellow or green, marked with black spots and streaks that vary in intensity and configuration according to taxon and locality. Many species also have beautiful pink patches or streaks on the underside hindwings.
The closely related species harpalyce is identical to eupalus on the upper surface. On the underside harpalyce is bluish-green with a suffused dark transverse band, while eupalus is pale olive with a series of white post discal spots. There are several other similar butterflies in the genus Bebearia, e.g. phantasina, phantasiella and maladicta, but in all of these the outer margin of the forewings is very concave.

Euphaedra eupalus is distributed from Guinea-Bissau to Togo.

Euphaedra eupalus, Bobiri, Ghana Adrian Hoskins

This species is found only in intact rainforest.
Unknown, but in common with other Euphaedra species the larval foodplants are probably in the family Sapindaceae.
Adult behaviour

Both sexes are attracted to fallen fruits. They are very alert, and if disturbed fly rapidly just above the surface of the ground, and resettle a few metres away.



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