File L – aphnaeini (lycaenidae) Cigaritis phanes. Photo courtesy Jeremy Dobson




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Document 3

FILE L – APHNAEINI (LYCAENIDAE)

Cigaritis phanes. Photo courtesy Jeremy Dobson

Compiled by Mark C. Williams


183 van der Merwe Street, Rietondale
PRETORIA 0001
E-mail: mark.williams@up.ac.za

FAMILY LYCAENIDAE
SUBFAMILY THECLINAE

Swainson, 1830

TRIBE APHNAEINI

Distant, 1884

With the exception of the genus Pseudaletis, which has rather different genitalia and facies, the remaining genera are united by similar genitalic morphology. There are about 250 species, the majority of which are found in South Africa, mainly because of the diversity of the genera Aloeides and Chrysoritis in southern Africa. The only genus with members outside the Afrotropical Region (in the Palaearctic and Oriental Regions) is Cigaritis (= Spindasis, Apharitis), one species of this genus even being found in Japan. With the exception of Pseudaletis, members of the other genera are characterized on the underside by almost always having spots or streaks of silvery scales. The larvae of most species in most of the genera are obligately associated with ants, mostly of the genus Crematogaster but are usually phytophagous. A few species have carnivorous larvae (they feed on ant-brood), or are fed by worker ants by means of trophallaxis.


The Afrotropical genera were reviewed by Heath, 1997 (Metamorphosis Occasional Supplement No. 2, April, 1997 (1-60pp.)). The order of genera below follows Heath, 1997.
Genus Zeritis Boisduval, 1836
In: [Roret, Suites à Buffon] Histoire naturelle des Insectes. Species général des Lépidopteres 1: pl. 22 (690 pp.). Paris.

Type species: Zeritis neriene Boisduval 1836, by monotypy.


A purely Afrotropical genus containing six species. The ‘checkered gems’ have genitalia that show affinity to those of the genus Axiocerses but the flight is slower and closer to the ground (Larsen, 2005a).

Zeritis aurivillii Schultze, 1908
Zeritis aurivillii Schultze, 1908. Societas Entomologica 23: 131 (130-131).

Type locality: Cameroon: “Demssa (Adamaua)”.

Distribution: Cameroon. Known with certainty from the holotype only.

Habitat:

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Associated ant: Nothing published.

Note: Larsen (2005a) considers this species to be a synonym of Z. neriene but does not formally change its status.

Zeritis fontainei Stempffer, 1956
Zeritis fontainei Stempffer, 1956. Annales du Musée Royal du Congo Belge (8) (Sciences zoologique) 49: 35 (54 pp.).

Zeritis fontainei. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 21mm. Mudri, 25 km due east of Mwinilunga, Zambia. 22.3.81. A.J. Gardiner. Mukwidgi Plain, Zambia. 22 March, 1981. M.W. Gardiner. (Gardiner Collection).

Zeritis fontainei. Female. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 23mm. Mudwigi Plain, N.W. Province, Zambia. 22 March, 1981. M.W. Gardiner. (Gardiner Collection).
Type locality: Democratic Republic of Congo: “Pic Mense, 500 m environ, 25 km est de Léopoldville”.

Distribution: Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia.

Specific localities:

Zambia – Mundwiji Plain (Heath, et al., 2002); Mudri, 25 km east of Mwinilunga (male specimen illustrated above).

Habitat:

Habits: Specimens are apparently rather inactive (Heath, et al., 2002).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Associated ant: Nothing published.

Zeritis krystyna d’Abrera, 1980
Zeritis krystyna d'Abrera, 1980. Butterflies of the Afrotropical region: 484 (593 pp.). Melbourne.

Type locality: Angola: “Muene Indala, Angola”.

Distribution: Angola (central).

Habitat:

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Associated ant: Nothing published.

Zeritis neriene Boisduval, 1836
Zeritis neriene Boisduval, 1836. In: [Roret, Suites à Buffon] Histoire naturelle des Insectes. Species général des Lépidopteres 1: pl. 22 (690 pp.). Paris.

Type locality: No locality.

Distribution: Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Niger (south), Cameroon, Central African Republic, Sudan (south), Uganda, Kenya (west).

Specific localities:

Senegal – Basse Casamance (Larsen, 2005a).

Nigeria – Ikoyi Island, Lagos (colony now destroyed by urban development) (Larsen, 1991); Zuru (M. Newport teste Larsen, 2005a); Anambra Creek (Larsen, 2005a); Okwangwo (C. Olory teste Larsen, 2005a).

Kenya – near Broderick Falls (Larsen, 1991).

Common name: Checkered gem.

Habitat: Savanna; on sandy soils. Open stony ground, with short grass (Larsen, 2005a). Occasionally it has been found within the forest zone on cleared lands, for example, at Okwangwo and Anambra Creek in Nigeria (Larsen, 2005a).

Habits: Found in discrete colonies, as small as 100 square metres in extent. There may be many (50 or more) individuals within these small territories. Specimens spend most of the time resting on the ground, and make short flights now and again. The flight is slow and close to the ground. Small, white, low-growing flowers are visited (Larsen, 1991; Larsen, 2005a).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Associated ant: Nothing published.
amine Butler, 1874 (as sp. of Cigaritis). Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1874: 533 (531-533). Ghana: “Whydah, on the Gold Coast”.
muzizii Bethune-Baker, 1924 (as f. of Zeritis neriene). Annals and Magazine of Natural History (9) 14: 134 (130-135). Uganda: “Muzizi Forest, S. end of Lake Albert, S.E. Africa”.

Zeritis pulcherrima Aurivillius, 1923
Zeritis pulcherrima Aurivillius, 1923 in Seitz, 1908-25. Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde, Stuttgart (2) 13 Die Afrikanischen Tagfalter: 418 (614 pp.).

Type locality: Sudan: “Ost-Sudan bei Wau”.

Distribution: Sudan, Central African Republic.

Habitat:

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Associated ant: Nothing published.

Note: Larsen (2005a) considers this species to be a synonym of Z. neriene but does not formally change its status.

Zeritis sorhagenii (Dewitz, 1879)
Plebeius sorhagenii Dewitz, 1879. Nova Acta Academiae Caesarea Leopoldino-Carolinae Germanicum Naturae Curiosorum 4 (2): 204 (173-212).

Zeritis sorhagenii. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 21mm. Nr Hillwood, Ikelenge, Zambezi R., Zambia. 2.IV.77. A. Heath. (African Butterfly Research Institute, Nairobi).

Zeritis sorhagenii. Female. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 23mm. Mumlambo Falls, Zambia. 19.XI.1992. I. Bampton. (African Butterfly Research Institute, Nairobi).
Type locality: Angola: “Guinea auf dem 10 S.B., zwischen dem 17-22 O.L. von Greemw”.

Distribution: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (south - Lualaba, Shaba), Zambia (Lake Bangweulu), Zimbabwe (extreme north-west - a single record from Kazungulu), Botswana (Larsen, unpublished ms, 1995).

Specific localities:

Zambia – Zambezi River, Ikelenge; Kanongesha, Mwinilunga; Lake Bangweulu; Mbala (Heath, et al., 2002); Mulambo Falls (female illustrated above).

Zimbabwe – Kazungula (Stevenson; single female).

Common name: Scarce gem.

Habitat: In understorey grass in open Brachystegia woodland (Heath, et al., 2002).

Habits: Occurs in very localized colonies. Specimens are apparently rather inactive (Heath, et al., 2002). The flight is weak (Pringle, et al., 1994).

Flight period: December to April (Heath, vide Pringle, et al., 1994).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Associated ant: Nothing published.

Genus Axiocerses Hübner, 1819
In: Hübner, 1816-1826. Verzeichniss bekannter Schmettlinge: 72 (432 + 72 pp.). Augsburg.

Type-species: Papilio perion Stoll, 1781 (=Papilio harpax Fabricius, 1775), by monotypy.


= Chrysorychia Wallengren, 1857. Öfversigt af Kongl. Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar. Stockholm annis 1838-1845. Collecta (n.s.) 2 (4): 44 (55 pp.). Type-species: Papilio thyra Linnaeus, by subsequent designation (Scudder, 1875. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 10: 142 (91-293).).
= Chrysorychia Wallengren, 1858. Öfversigt af Kongl. Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar. Stockholm 15: 80 (75-84). Type-species: Papilio thyra Linnaeus, by original designation. [Invalid; junior homonym and junior objective synonym of Chrysorychia Wallengren, 1857.]. [Henning & Henning, 1996 (Metamorphosis Occasional Supplement No. 1, October, 1996: 1) state: “Wallengren (1857) erected a genus Chrysorychia for what he regarded as two species, and described as C. thyra and C. tjoane. According to Aurivillius (1882: 117) who had access to the type specimens (Stempffer, 1967: 166), these are, however, the male and female respectively, of a single species now known as Axiocerses tjoane (Wallengren).”]


Axiocerses tjoane.

Photo courtesy Jeremy Dobson.


A purely Afrotropical genus containing 20 species.

[Generic review by Henning & Henning, 1996 (Metamorphosis Occasional Supplement No. 1, October, 1996 (1-48).).]

The ‘scarlets’, as their common name suggests, are red on their uppersides. The undersides are dull reddish with more or less extensive silver or gold speckling.
Classification of the genus Axiocerses (follows Henning & Henning, 1996).
A. harpax super-group
Harpax species group

Axiocerses harpax (Fabricius, 1775)

Axiocerses callaghani Henning & Henning, 1996

Tjoane species group

Axiocerses tjoane (Wallengren, 1857)

Axiocerses susanae Henning & Henning, 1996

Axiocerses croesus (Trimen, 1862)

Bambana species group

Bambana subgroup

Axiocerses bambana Grose-Smith, 1900

Nyika subgroup

Axiocerses nyika Quickelberge, 1984

Axiocerses heathi Henning & Henning, 1996

Axiocerses melanica Henning & Henning, 1996

Coalescens species group

Axiocerses coalescens Henning & Henning, 1996

Axiocerses karinae Henning & Henning, 1996

Styx species group

Axiocerses styx Rebel, 1908

Axiocerses kiellandi Henning & Henning, 1996

Axiocerses bamptoni Henning & Henning, 1996

Axiocerses collinsi Henning & Henning, 1996
A. amanga super-group
Amanga species group

Axiocerses amanga (Westwood, 1881)

Axiocerses maureli Dufrane, 1954

Punicea species group

Axiocerses punicea (Grose-Smith, 1889)

Argenteomaculata species group

Axiocerses argenteomaculata Pagenstecher, 1902

Axiocerses jacksoni Stempffer, 1948


Axiocerses harpax super-group

Axiocerses harpax species group

Axiocerses harpax (Fabricius, 1775)
Papilio harpax Fabricius, 1775. Systema Entomologiae: 829 (832 pp.). Flensburgi & Lipsiae.

Type locality: [W. Africa]: “in America”. [False locality.]. Probably Sierra Leone (Larsen, 2005a).

Diagnosis:

Male. Forewing length 15,5-17,2 mm, mean 16,1 (n=8); antenna-wing ratio 0.52-0.56, mean 0.54 (n=8). Wing upperside: forewing with discal area reddish-orange, distal portion dark brown from discal area along costa extending obliquely across wing to tornus, basal area dark brown, merging into orange; round black subcosta spot in middle of cell and a quadrate one closing it, with a larger one below basally in M2 and CuA2. Hindwing with reddish-orange with a blackish-brown basal area and a narrow blackish-brown outer marginal line. Wing underside: forewing: dull orange-yellow, very pale on inner margin becoming reddish-brown along outer and costal margins, normal spotting fairly well developed. Hindwing: reddish-brown with normal spotting well developed. Genitalia: valve somewhat rounded, similar to that of A. amanga, distal point generally fairly small; inner lobe absent; lower fultura tapering with cornuti at apex, 2x longer than in A. punicea (measured from cleft to apex); anterior apophysis generally short and broadly triangular. Female. Forewing length 14.5-18.5 mm. Mean 16.5 (n=4); antenna-wing ratio 0.46-0.47, mean 0.47 (n=4). Wing upperside: ground colour light orange with dark or greenish basal suffusion; forewing with broad costal and outer marginal border; black discal spots in areas M1-M2 as large and as well developed as those in M3-CuA2, forming a broad black band (that in M2 in line with spots in M1; complete row of distinct black submarginal spots; black band in discal area from costal black to vein CuA1. Wing underside: as in male but paler. Genitalia: ostium bursae funnel-shaped and short, 0,33x as long as in A. punicea; corpus bursae moderately sized and rounded, both distal lobes well sclerotized.” (Henning & Henning, 1996).



Distribution: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Oman, Kenya, Tanzania.

Common name: Common scarlet.

Habitat: The nominate subspecies is found in forest (Clench, 1965) and woodland; subspecies kadugli occurs in savanna; subspecies ugandana inhabits forest in Uganda, open country, forest and sub-alpine grassland (3 000 m +) in Kenya (Larsen, 1991), and thorn-bush and Acacia woodland in Tanzania (Kielland, 1990). The species is really a savanna butterfly and is a poor colonizer of disturbed areas in the forest zone (Larsen, 2005a).

Habits: This is a common butterfly in the savannas of West Africa (Larsen, 2005a). The flight is fast but specimens settle often, on vegetation or flowers. When at rest they often bask in the sun, with the wings three-quarters opened (Larsen, 1991). Males aggressively defend territories from perches (Larsen, 2005a). Both sexes are fond of flowers (Larsen, 2005a).

Early stages:
Jackson, 1947: 47 (Mount Elgon, Kenya)

“The larva lives among ants under the bark of Acacia stenocarpa and probably of other trees. It is gregarious, sometimes two or three or as many as ten being found together. The ants, a small black species of Crematogaster, are constantly in attendance at the larval gland. The larvae are always in the dark, following the ant-runs even below ground. Larva. Dull greenish anteriorly, fading to brownish green at the anal extremity. Very hairy, the hair arising from warts arranged in double rows around each segment. Head large, shiny black; collar with a black sclerotised patch, regular in shape, though slightly broader anteriorly. Anal segments unusual: last segment flattened and semi-circular, guarded above by a black sclerotised plate; there follows an elevated ridge beyond which is a depression; exactly above the depression lies the orifice of the gland between two black spots. The orifice appears as an opaque patch in a polished oval plate of light-coloured chitin, and on either side are tubes containing the tubercles, plainly visible organs of a pale colour surrounded by black rings. The tubercles carry a long spiny rosette at each extremity; they are, apparently, only exserted when an ant is actually feeding at the gland. They then appear as dirty white organs, and are shot rapidly in and out, three or four times, at an angle inwards of the vertical, the long terminal spines or hairs, on each occasion, coming in contact with the ant and interlocking over its back from either side. The ant responds by raising its head, but does not necessarily leave the gland. Under a lens it can be seen that the stalks of the tubercles are finely fluted. Length of larva 20 mm. Pupa. Brownish black. Thorax domed, and shoulders rather prominent. Formed under bark and attached by the anal extremity, which is pointed and curled under the abdomen. Length 12 mm. Biology. The larval food appears to be some concentrate, such as honeydew, either dropped by the ants from their mouth-parts or excreted by them in passing along the tunnels and runs, being carefully collected by the lycaenid larvae. The mouth-parts of all larvae of this type (e.g. Chloroselas, Spindasis etc.) are minute and probably incapable of biting large, solid substances. Observation of larvae in the ant-runs always reveals the same habit. The larva makes a slow, careful investigation with the mouth of every part of the surface of the runs, accompanied by movements of the mouth-parts as of feeding. The food must be very concentrated since all larvae of this type can live for long periods without food. The majority of ant-attended larvae are not carnivorous unless starved and confined together in a restricted space, when some may eat the others.”


Larval food:

Acacia drepanolobium Sjostedt (Fabaceae) [Van Someren, 1974: 327].

Acacia stenocarpa (Fabaceae) [Jackson, 1947: 47].

Associated ants:

Crematogaster species (Formicidae) [Jackson, 1947: 47].

Pheidole species (Formicidae) [Larsen, 1991: 190].
Axiocerses harpax harpax (Fabricius, 1775)
Papilio harpax Fabricius, 1775. Systema Entomologiae: 829 (832 pp.). Flensburgi & Lipsiae.

Type locality: [W. Africa]: “in America”. [False locality.]

Distribution: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria (west).

Specific localities:

Senegal – Kabrousse, Casamance (Henning & Henning, 1996).

Guinea – Labe (Henning & Henning, 1996).

Mali – Bamako (Henning & Henning, 1996).

Ivory Coast – Abidjan, Bafing River S. of Toubia (Henning & Henning, 1996).

Togo – Hahone (Henning & Henning, 1996); Tigre (Henning & Henning, 1996).

Benin – Noyau Central, Lama Forest (Fermon, et al., 2001).

Nigeria – Kagora, Katagu (Henning & Henning, 1996).
perion Stoll, 1782 in Stoll, 1780-2 (as sp. of Papilio). Die Uitlandsche Kapellen voorkomende in de drie waerrelddeelen Asia, Africa en America 4 [part]: 176 (29-252). Amsteldam & Utrecht. [W. Africa]: “Surinamen”. [False locality.]
piscatoris Clench, 1943 (as ssp. of Axiocerses harpax). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 51: 219 (219-220). Liberia: “Fishermann’s Lake”.
Axiocerses harpax efulena Clench, 1963
Axiocerses harpax efulena Clench, 1963. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 71: 183 (181-188).

Type locality: Cameroon: “Efulen, Cameroun”.

Diagnosis:

“Similar to A. h. harpax except: Male. Wing upperside: forewing with an orange-red quadrate patch at distal end of cell; cell orange-red to base, darkening progressively basad but not black. Hindwing: with costa narrowly black and cell usually dark orange-red with distal patch of bright orange-red. Female. Wing upperside: forewing with distal quadrate orange spot always present in cell; base dusky orange. Hindwing with quadrate orange spot in cell.” (Henning & Henning, 1996).



Distribution: Cameroon (south), Democratic Republic of Congo.

Note: Because of the marked seasonal and geographic variation in harpax throughout its range Larsen (2005a) doubts the validity of this subspecies, but does not formally change its status.
Axiocerses harpax kadugli Talbot, 1935
Axiocerses harpax f. kadugli Talbot, 1935. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 71: 120 (69-78, 115-127, 147-153).

Type locality: Sudan: “Anglo-Egyptian Sudan: Kadugli, Nuba Hills between El Obeid and Lake No”.

Diagnosis:

“Similar to A. h. harpax except: Male. Wing upperside: orange-red ground colour pale and black areas greyish and reduced. Underside: pale ochreous-brown, sometimes with darker postmedial suffusion. Female. Wing paler than nominate subspecies.” (Henning & Henning, 1996).



Distribution: Senegal, Mali, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Oman (Dhofar).

Note: This subspecies is perhaps better considered an ecological vicariant than a subspecies (Larsen, 2005a).
Axiocerses harpax ugandana Clench, 1963
Axiocerses harpax ugandana Clench, 1963. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 71: 184 (181-188).

Type locality: Uganda: “Bugoma Forest, Unyoro, Uganda”,

Diagnosis:

“Similar to A. h. harpax except: Male. Wing upperside: forewing with an orange-red quadrate patch at distal end of cell; cell black at base; postmedian black spot prominent. Hindwing with quadrate orange spot in cell; costa mainly orange. Female. Wing upperside: forewing with distal quadrate orange spot in cell; base dusky orange. Hindwing with quadrate orange spot in cell.” (Henning & Henning, 1996).



Distribution: Central African Republic (south-east), Democratic Republic of Congo (north-east), Uganda, Kenya (west), Tanzania (north-west).

Note: Because of the marked seasonal and geographic variation in harpax throughout its range Larsen (2005a) doubts the validity of this subspecies, but does not formally change its status.

Axiocerses callaghani Henning & Henning, 1996
Axiocerses callaghani Henning & Henning, 1996. Metamorphosis Occasional Supplement No. 1: 11 (1-48).

Type locality: Nigeria: “Nigeria: Agbara Estate, Ogun State, 20.iii.1988, C.J. Callaghan.” Holotype in Transvaal Museum, Pretoria.

Original description:

Male. Forewing length 13-15 mm, mean 14 mm (n=4); antenna-wing ration 0.56-0.57, mean 0.57 (n=4). Forewing outer margin not sharply angled. Wing upperside: forewing black with reddish-orange discal band from vein M2 to inner margin and marked with black spots in areas M2 to CuA1. Hindwing reddish with broad costal border (often extending down to M1) and very narrow black outer margin and blackish suffusion at base; inner fold blackish-brown. Wing underside: purplish-brown with golden-ochreous-centered black spotting distinct and well developed. Genitalia: valve not ovoid as in A. harpax but more quadrangular with a robust distal point; lower fultura broader basally, slightly shorter and not as slender as in A. harpax; valve similar to that of A. amanga. Female. Forewing length 14.5 mm; antenna-wing ratio 0.48. Wing upperside: light orange, basally dark greenish-ochre up to medial area; forewing with broad costal (2.2 mm) and outer marginal (2.5 mm) borders; black discal spots in areas M1-M2 as large and as well developed as those in M3-CuA2 forming a broad black band; hindwing with black marginal line and broad black costal area from vein M1; complete row of distinct, separate black postdiscal spots; black band in discal area from costal black to vein CuA1. Wing underside: similar but ground colour paler than in male. Genitalia: corpus bursae very round, lower lobe elongated and well sclerotized, ostium bursae funnel-shaped and 0.5 as long as in A. punicea.”



Diagnosis: Smaller than A. harpax; forewing outer margin smoothly rounded; wings shorter and rounder; cilia not strongly chequered; dark markings of upperside extensive; costa of hindwing broadly black; hindwing underside ochreous; postdiacla silvery spots in three parallele rows (not an irregular band as in harpax). (Henning & Henning, 1996).

Distribution: Nigeria (south-west), Cameroon (Larsen, 2005a).

Specific localities:

Nigeria – Agbara Estate, Ogun State (TL); Agege near Lagos (Larsen).

Common name: Callaghan’s scarlet.

Etymology: Named after Curtis Callaghan (Henning & Henning, 1996).

Habitat: Forest.

Habits: This appears to be a scarce species (Larsen, 2005a).

Flight period: Recorded in March and July.

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Associated ant: Nothing published.

Axiocerses tjoane species group

Axiocerses tjoane (Wallengren, 1857)
Chrysorychia tjoane Wallengren, 1857. Öfversigt af Kongl. Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar. Stockholm annis 1838-1845. Collecta (n.s.) 2 (4): 44 (55 pp.).

Synonym of Axiocerses bambana Grose-Smith, 1900. Ackery et al., 1995: 564.



Axiocerses tjoane (Wallengren, 1857). Henning & Henning, 1996: 14.

Axiocerses tjoane tjoane. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 28mm. Ndola Rd, 5m. 17/10/72. (Henning collection - H331).

Axiocerses tjoane tjoane. Female. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 30mm. Ngong Hills, Nairobi, 7000'. 4 Apr 72. J.G.W. (Henning collection - H331A).
Type locality: South Africa: “Caffraria”.

Diagnosis: The intensity of the dark areas and shade of red is variable. In montane areas (e.g. Sibweza in the west to Pugu Hills in the east of Tanzania) they are dark and deep red while they are lightly coloured in dry regions (e.g. Kombat, Nambia) (Henning & Henning, 1996). “Male. Forewing length 12-19.3 mm, mean 25.9 mm (n=50); antenna-wing ratio 0.5-0.52, mean 0.51 (n=50). Wings upperside: forewing with discal area reddish-orange to red, distal portion blackish-brown to black from discal along costa extending obliquely across wing to tornus, basal area dark brown merging into orange, basal to medial area of costa orange, black subcostal spot in middle of cell, and a quadrate one closing it, with a larger one below basally in M3 and CuA2; cilia white becoming darker at end of veins. Hindwing reddish-orange with a blackish-brown basal area and a narrow blackish-brown outer marginal line, anal lobe ferruginous-red, marked with a gilded spot; cilia dark brown. Wing underside: forewing: dull orange-yellow, very pale on inner margin becoming reddish-brown along outer and costal margins; normal spotting fairly well developed black with greenish-golden centres; cilia white becoming darker at end of veins. Hindwing: reddish-brown forming a darker transverse band in postdiscal area, normal metallic spotting often indistinct; anal lobe ferruginous-red; cilia reddish-brown. Genitalia: valve somewhat variable, distal point generally fairly small and narrow and pointing posteriad to almost ventrad; inner lobe generally large, elongated and narrow, tapering apicad; lower fultura generally short, less than 0.66x as long as in A. punicea (measured from cleft to apex); anterior apophysis generally short and broadly triangular. Female. Forewing length 13.5-23 mm, mean 18.5 mm (n=50); antenna-wing ratio 0.46-0.5, mean 0.48 (n=50). Wing: upperside ground colour dull orange-brown, brown borders paler and narrower than in male, forewing with outer marginal border narrow and of uniform width, inner margin smooth, basal area suffused with brown mingled with ochreous, one black spot in cell and one distally closing it, lower spots basally in M3 and CuA1; discal area with irregular transverse row of blackish-brown spots from R5 to CuA2, hindwing basally dark brown to medial area, outer margin edged with a brown line, submarginal lunular row well developed, discal area with irregular row of brown spots in areas R5, M1, M2 and CuA1. Cilia greyish-white becoming orange-brown at ends of veins. Wing underside: as in male but rather paler, spotting of variable size, the gilding slightly paler but not less brilliant. Genitalia: ostium bursae fairly flat with broadly rounded sides; corpus bursae fairly large and ovoid; ductus broad and short connecting almost centrally with ostium bursae.”

Distribution: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland.

Common name: Common scarlet; eastern scarlet.

Habitat: Moist woodland (savanna) and riverine forest (ssp. rubescens). Savanna (nominate subspecies).

Habits: Both sexes fly rapidly, low down, often visiting flowers. Males often hilltop.

Flight period: The nominate subspecies flies all year in warm areas; summer in cooler areas (Pringle, et al., 1994). Subspecies rubescens has been recorded in July, October, November, and April.

Early stages:
Clark and Dickson, 1971: 157, plate 78 [as Axiocerses bambana Grose-Smith; Newlands, near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal].

"Egg: 0.9 mm x 0.5 mm high. Laid in small clusters on the stalk of a young shoot, but, on occasion, amongst sand near the plant. Eggs hatch after some 15 days - sometimes earlier. The discarded shell is not eaten. Larva (5-instar group): 1st instar 1.25 mm, growing to 3 mm in 10 days; 2nd instar growing to 5 mm in 7 days; 3rd instar growing to 8 mm in 7 days; 4th instar growing to 13 mm in 7 days; 5th instar growing to 21 mm in 16 days. Larva (6-instar group): 1st instar 1.25 mm growing to 2.75 mm in 10 days; 2nd instar growing to 4.25 mm in 6 days; 3rd instar growing to 6 mm in 6 days; 4th instar growing to 8 mm in 7 days; 5th instar growing to 13 mm in 8 days; 6th instar growing to 21 mm in 14-17 days. The honey-gland is present in the 3rd and subsequent instars, while the tubercles are present in all instars. Larvae are gregarious and rest in crevices or shelters formed by joining leaves together and lining them with silk. They crawl away to feed and then return to their shelter. Ants are in attendance and milk the larger larvae. Moulting takes place near the shelter. The discarded skin is not eaten but is left in a rather bag-like form. There are generally two, but, perhaps, under good conditions, three broods. The species is continuously brooded in the subtropical areas, such as the coastal belt of Natal. The species of ant associated with the larva has not been ascertained. It seems likely that it may be the same one that has been recorded for Spindasis natalensis. Pupa: 11-12 mm. The larger size yielding females. Pupae are secured to the silk lining the shelter, by their cremastral hooks. Emergence occurs after 15-18 days, but over-wintering can occur in the less warm localities. Parasites: Egg. Parsitized by small Chalcids. Larva. Killed by Braconids. Pupa. Killed by an Ichneumonid (Pimpla sp.)." "Recorded from eggs from Newlands, near Durban."


Henning, S., and Henning, G., 1996: 14 [as Axiocerses tjoane tjoane; locality not specified].

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