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Illustrations of new species of exotic butterflies Romalæosoma IV.jpg
Plate accompanying the original description of Euphaedra rezia and E. ravola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Limenitidinae
Genus: Euphaedra
Hübner, [1819]
  • Najas Hübner, [1807]
  • Romaleosoma Blanchard, 1840
  • Proteuphaedra Hecq, 1976
  • Xypetana Hecq, 1976
  • Euphaedrana Hecq, 1976
  • Gausapia Hecq, 1976
  • Medoniana Hecq, 1976
  • Neophronia Hecq, 1985

Euphaedra is a butterfly genus in the subfamily Limenitidinae. The species are confined to the Afrotropical realm mainly in the Guinean Forests of West Africa and the Congolian forests.


Forms of E. cyparissa

Euphaedra are large and showy butterflies. They share a common wing shape. On the basal areas of the upperside of the wings (especially the hindwings) are large suffused patches of metallic green, blue, orange or red. Most species also have a cream or orange subapical bar. The undersides are various shades of yellow or green and marked with black streaks and spots. Many species also have pink patches or streaks on the undersides of the hindwings.

The larvae are green, with yellow and pink markings and bear long and branched lateral spines.


Green species or forms are found in rain forest, yellow species or forms typically occur in drier and often more patchy forests. This is a camouflage adaptation to particular forest light patterns.

The larvae of most species feed on Sapindaceae others on Anacardiaceae, Rutaceae, Sterculiaceae, Annonaceae, Palmae.


Euphaedra is a species rich genus. In the most recent monograph Jacques Hecq listed 180 species[1] later adding 12.[2] In many species the intraspecific variation is as great or greater than the interspecific variation and the number of species may be smaller.

The species level taxonomy of these polymorphic and also hybridising butterflies is a challenge requiring a synthesis of studies of their evolutionary taxonomy, sympatry and molecular phylogenetics in combination with detailed morphological studies. This is so far only partly achieved.

The type species of the genus is Papilio cyparissa Cramer.

Species groups[edit]

Defining species groups is a convenient way of subdividing well-defined genera with a large number of recognized species. Euphaedra species are so arranged in assemblages called "species groups" but (not superspecies, but an informal phenetic arrangement). These may or may not be clades. As molecular phylogenetic studies continue, lineages distinct enough to warrant some formal degree of recognition become evident and new groupings are suggested, but consistent ranking remains a problem.


Listed alphabetically within species groups:[3]


  1. ^ Jacques Hecq, 1999, Schmetterlinge der Erde, Butterflies of the world Part IV (4), Nymphalidae III - Euphaedra. Edited by Erich Bauer and Thomas Frankenbach Keltern : Goecke & Evers ; Canterbury : Hillside Books.ISBN 9783931374501
  2. ^ Tomasz W. Pyrcz , Haydon Warren-Gash , Jadwiga Lorenc-Brudecka , Dieuwko Knoop , Philippe Oremans , Szabolcs Sáfián Taxonomy and distribution pattern of the African rain forest butterfly genus Euphaedra Hübner sensu stricto with the description of three new subspecies of Euphaedra cyparissa (Cramer) and one of E. sarcoptera (Butler) (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Limenitidinae, Adoliadini) ZooKeys 298: 1–37, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.298.4894 online
  3. ^ "Euphaedra Hübner, [1819]" at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms

External links[edit]