Butterflies of West Africa
Ussher's Palla
Palla ussheri  BUTLER, 1870
subfamily - CHARAXINAE
Palla ussheri, Bobiri, Ghana Peter Bygate
The Charaxinae are a group of robust, medium to large Nymphalids characterised by having a rapid and powerful flight, stout bodies, falcate apexes, and a habit of feeding at dung and carrion. They are represented in the neotropics by genera including Consul, Memphis, Prepona and Agrias; in the Oriental and Australian regions by Polyura and Charaxes, and in Africa by Charaxes, Euxanthe and Palla.
There are 4 Palla species, all Afrotropical in distribution, i.e. violinitens, decius, publius and ussheri. All are similarly marked with a suffused white transverse band on a blackish-brown ground colour and are flushed with orange on the tailed hindwings. On the underside the outer half of the wings is finely striated, and there is a series of submarginal ocelli, the largest of which is in space 1b.
Palla ussheri is distributed throughout the African forest block from Sierra Leone to Gabon, Congo, Uganda and western Tanzania.
Palla ussheri is found in glades and along logging roads in primary and secondary rainforests.

The eggs are goblet-shaped, and are laid singly on the leaves of Dichopetalum ( Dichopetalaceae ), Prevostea, Bonomia ( Convolvulaceae ) and Toddalia ( Rutaceae ).

Adult behaviour

Males perch in a head-downwards posture, with the wings held slightly apart, on the foliage of trees in glades and along forest roads, generally at a height of about 3m above ground level.


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