Eurytela dryope

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Golden piper
Golden Piper Ilanda LP 12 05 2010.JPG
Golden Piper Lords 15 05 2010.JPG
E. d. angulata, both from Ilanda Wilds, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Eurytela
Species: E. dryope
Binomial name
Eurytela dryope
(Cramer, [1775])
Synonyms
  • Papilio dryope Cramer, [1775]
  • Eurytela dryope var. angulata Aurivillius, 1899
  • Eurytela dryope var. lineata Aurivillius, 1899

Eurytela dryope, the golden piper, is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, found in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian peninsula and Madagascar.[1]

Side view of captive raised E. d. angulata

Description[edit]

Wingspan: 40–50 mm in males and 45–55 mm in females.[2] The male and female are very similar in appearance.[3] The upperside of the wings is dark brown with a wide, yellow-orange band in the lower two-thirds of the forewing margin and the outer half of the hindwing.[3] The underside of the wings is variegated in shades of brown.[3]

Subspecies[edit]

Listed alphabetically:[1]

  • E. d. angulata Aurivillius, 1898 – eastern and southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape
  • E. d. brittoni Gabriel, 1954 – south-western Saudi Arabia, Yemen
  • E. d. dryope (Cramer, [1775]) – Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, southern Nigeria, Cameroon, central and northern Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • E. d. lineata Aurivillius, 1898 – Madagascar, Comoros

Distribution[edit]

E. d. angulata is found in Ethiopia, East Africa, southern DRC, Angola[1] and on the eastern side of South Africa from Limpopo, the Magaliesberg,[3] Mpumalanga, Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal, to Port St Johns[3] in the Eastern Cape.[4] A photographic record was made further south than Port St Johns during the South African Butterfly Conservation Assessment.[4] E. d. brittoni is found in the south-west of the Arabian peninsula.[1] E. d. dryope from Sierra Leone to Cameroon and northern DRC.[1] E. d. lineata is found in Madagascar.[1]

Life cycle[edit]

Eggs[edit]

The eggs are covered in longitudinal rows of hairy spines.[5]

Larvae[edit]

The larvae are spiny with large head processes[5] and feed on Tragia glabrata, Dalechampia capensis, and Ricinus communis.[2]

Pupae[edit]

The pupae are greenish in colour and have greatly expanded wing cases.[5]

Adults[edit]

The flight period is year round, peaking between November and June.[2] They have a leisurely, gliding flight, settling frequently, usually with open wings.[3] The adults feed on fermenting fruit, tree sap and nectar.[5] They are found in forests and wooded, frost-free savanna.[3] This species can tolerate drier conditions than the pied piper (Eurytela hiarbas).[3]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Eurytela at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  2. ^ a b c Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Williams, M. (1994). Butterflies of Southern Africa; A Field Guide. Southern Book Publishers. ISBN 1-86812-516-5.
  4. ^ a b Biodiversity data provided by: Data contributors to the Southern African Butterfly Conservation Assessment (SABCA) (list of contributors accessible here: http://sabca.adu.org.za/thanks.php),[permanent dead link] a joint project of the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town, and the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa (accessed via SABCA's online virtual museum, http://sabca.adu.org.za/vm_redirect.php,[permanent dead link] 28-02-2011).
  5. ^ a b c d Woodhall, S. (2008). What's that Butterfly?. Struik Publishers, Cape Town. ISBN 978-1-77007-486-6.