Butterflies of Africa
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - ADOLIADINI
© Adrian Hoskins
comprises of a yet to be discerned number of large and very
beautiful forest-dwelling butterflies, all found on the African
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.
share a common wing shape.
have a similar pattern on the upperside - typically the basal areas
of the wings ( particularly the hindwings ) have large
patches of metallic blue, green, orange or red.
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
with a series of white post discal spots.
There are several
similar butterflies in the genus Bebearia,
phantasiella and maladicta,
but in all of these the outer margin of the forewings is very
eupalus is distributed from Guinea-Bissau to Togo.
© Adrian Hoskins
This species is
found only in
Unknown, but in common with other Euphaedra
species the larval foodplants are probably in the family
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.