Butterflies of Africa
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - PAPILIONINI
Falls, Ghana / Togo border
© Adrian Hoskins
are about 90 recorded species of Papilionidae in Africa, of which 60
are placed in Papilio - a huge genus
comprising of 210 species worldwide.
Among the African
species there are several
untailed, white-banded species that have underside patterns similar
to nobicea, but the latter can be
distinguished by virtue of the white patch at the end of the
forewing cell, which is absent in the other species.
Papilio nobicea is endemic to the Volta
region of Ghana, and the hills on the Ghana / Togo border.
This is a hill-forest species. Although still relatively common, it
is under increasing threat due to habitat destruction, particularly
at Wli Falls where the forest is being cut down at a frightening
The larval foodplants of nobicea are
not recorded but Piper ( Piperaceae )
is a likely candidate, as it is used in Ghana by the very similar
and closely related species Papilio zenobia.
Males commonly settle at damp patches on
forest trails to imbibe mineralised moisture.