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Illustrations of Exotic Entomology Acraea Ethosea.jpg
Illustration by Dru Drury
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Biblidinae
Tribe: Biblidini
Genus: Mesoxantha
Aurivillius, 1898
Species: M. ethosea
Binomial name
Mesoxantha ethosea
(Drury, 1782)
  • Papilio ethosea Drury, 1782
  • Mesoxantha ethoseoides Rebel, 1914
  • Mesoxantha ethosea albeola Rothschild, 1918
  • Mesoxantha katera Stoneham, 1935

Mesoxantha is a genus of nymphalid butterflies.[1] It is monotypic, containing only Mesoxantha ethosea, the Drury's delight. It is found in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.[2] The habitat consists of lowland forests, including secondary forests.

The larvae feed on Tragia brevipes and Malacantha alnifolia.


Upperside: Antennae black. Thorax, abdomen, and wings deep brown, almost black; the disk of the anterior being white, and extending to the shoulders, all the middle part of the posterior being white likewise.

Underside: Palpi grey. Breast and abdomen brown. Anterior wings next the body yellowish brown, but towards the tips inclining to grey; nerves black; the disk white, with a round black spot near the body, and another of a smaller size below it. The middle of the posterior wings is white, surrounded with brown, that part along the lower edges being darkest; next the body are five distinct black round spots, and an irregular shaped one at the middle of the upper edge; along the lower edges are a number of small triangular white spots. Margins of the posterior wings slightly dentated. Wingspan 2 14 inches (57 mm).[3]


  • Mesoxantha ethosea ethosea (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo)
  • Mesoxantha ethosea ethoseoides Rebel, 1914 (Nigeria: south and the Cross River loop, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Angola, eastern and southern Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Mesoxantha ethosea reducta Rothschild, 1918 (southern Sudan, Uganda, western Tanzania, possibly Mozambique)


  1. ^ Mesoxantha at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  2. ^ Afrotropical Butterflies: Nymphalidae - Tribe Biblidini
  3. ^ Drury, Dru (1837). Westwood, John, ed. Illustrations of Exotic Entomology. 3. p. 50. pl. XXXVIII.