Butterflies of Africa
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - PAPILIONINI
Falls, Ghana ©
In Africa there
are about 90 known species of Papilionidae, of which 60 are placed
in Papilio - a huge genus comprising of
210 species worldwide.
There are several
untailed, green-banded species, including
chrapkowskoides which has very broad metallic green bands on
it's dark brown upperside; and sosia
which is similar but has more bluish bands.
Papilio nireus, as it's vernacular name implies, has very
narrow bands, and these can vary in colour from turquoise to
metallic lime green in colour. All three species have similar
Papilio nireus is found in forested
regions throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa, but is absent from
Madagascar and the Comores.
This is a forest species, most commonly seen along logging roads or
in secondary forest, but it also penetrates savannah habitats where
it flies along riparian edges. It has migratory tendencies, so can
also be found in botanical gardens, arboreta, parks and even
occasionally in city gardens.
The larval foodplants include Fagara,
Clausena, Citrus and
Teclea ( Rutaceae ).
Males commonly settle at damp patches on
logging roads, often in groups of 4 or 5, to imbibe mineralised
moisture. Both sexes visit Tridax,
Eupatorium and various other flowers for nectar.