Butterflies of Africa
GROSE-SMITH & KIRBY,
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - LIPTENINAE
Tribe - PENTILINI
Hills, Ghana / Togo border
© Adrian Hoskins
The genus Telipna
comprises of 25 species, all Afrotropical in distribution. They are
all very similar in appearance, and are regarded as Batesian mimics
of toxic Aletis Geometrid moths.
Telipna semirufa is distributed from
Sierra Leone to Togo.
This species is found in rainforest at altitudes between about
The caterpillars browse on blue-green algae coating the bark of
common with other Telipna species,
semirufa is found in denser parts of the
forest, but usually in areas where the understorey is fairly open. The
butterflies randomly undertake short flights, and are quick on the
wing, although the wing-beats are fluttery. They spend long periods at
the extra-floral nectaries of Marantaceae.
Both sexes are easiest to find at dusk,
when they go to roost, sitting at the end of
dry twigs, usually quite close to the ground.