Acraea serena

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Acraea serena
Acraea serena HotMarina 2012-01-15 uns.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Acraea
Species: A. serena
Binomial name
Acraea serena
(Fabricius, 1775)
  • Papilio serena Fabricius, 1775
  • Hyalites serena (Fabricius, 1775)
  • Telchinia serena (Fabricius, 1775)
  • Acraea (Actinote) serena
  • Papilio eponina Cramer, [1780]
  • Acraea janisca Godart, 1819
  • Acraea manjaca Boisduval, 1833
  • Acraea serena var. rougetii Guérin-Méneville, 1849
  • Telchinia buxtoni Butler, 1875
  • Telchinia perrupta Butler, 1883
  • Acraea subserena Grose-Smith, 1900
  • Acraea terpsichore ab. venturina Thurau, 1904
  • Acraea terpsichore ab. connexa Thurau, 1904
  • Acraea terpsichore ab. excentrica Thurau, 1904
  • Acraea intermediana Strand, 1911
  • Acraea terpsichore rougeti ab. contraria Strand, 1912
  • Acraea eliana Strand, 1912
  • Acraea eliana ab. toka Strand, 1912
  • Acraea terpsichore ab. janiscella Strand, 1913
  • Acraea eponina eponina f. akoafima Le Doux, 1928
  • Acraea eponina eponina f. latifasciata Le Doux, 1928
  • Acraea eponina manjaca f. reducta Le Doux, 1928
  • Acraea jordani Le Doux, 1928
  • Acraea terpsichore ab. bankoides Carpenter, 1935
  • Acraea terpsichore buxtoni ab. subjanisca Dufrane, 1945

Acraea serena, the dancing acraea, is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae. It is found in South Africa, including the area near the Waterberg Biosphere. But it is found also in the whole Africa south of the Sahara. It is the most common of the Acraea, from Dakar to Fort-Dauphin, from Yemen to the Cape.

This is the type species of the old genus Telchinia, which may warrant re-separation from Acraea. Formerly, A. serena was often misidentified as Acraea eponina (small orange acraea) or Acraea terpsicore (tawny coaster).

It is very likely that the butterfly's black-spotted orange markings are a sign of unpalatability and it may well form part of a mimicry ring with Erikssonia edgei.

Taxonomy of Acraea manjaca Boisduval[edit]

Acraea manjaca from Madagascar, now considered to be conspecific with Acraea serena, has a complex taxonomic history which illustrates the problems in interpreting the genus as a whole. Here is an account of how Acraea manjaca was placed by different authors.

Boisduval notes the proximity with eponina Cramer in his original description of 1833. Doubleday (1848) treats manjaca as a good species (1848) but Guerin (1849) places manjaca in synonymy with serena Fabricius, which was confirmed by Trimen (1862) and Mabille (1886). Aurivillius (1898) considers that manjaca Boisduval is a variety of Fabricius' serena which had, in turn, been put in synonymy with terpsicore Linnaeus by Butler (1894), and which then was thought to be eponina Cramer (Le Doux, 1928, Carcasson, 1961). Eltringham (1912, 1916) considers manjaca Boisduval to be a synonym of rougeti Guérin (Acraea serena). Le Doux (1928) reinstated manjaca as good subspecies of eponina. Van Son (1963) considers manjaca to be a simple form.


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