LIBERIA, January 2014

LIBERIA, January 2014, a trip arranged by Mike  Williams and Safi to find the Giant African Swallowtail in the Nimba Hills ahead of a major mining project to be undertaken by Arcelor Mittal

Papilio antimachus
Papilio antimachus

Giant African Swallowtail, male. This sighting occurred on our very last morning, 29 January, at the old recreation ground above Yekepa, the butterfly caught at the moment it took flight from the top of a bush some 5 metres high.

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Papilio antimachus
Papilio antimachus

Giant African Swallowtail, the same male as in the previous photo. Given the almost total absence of biological data on this species, Arcelor Mittal are funding a research project involving the attachment of a small radio transmitter to the thorax of several males to track their movements

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Papilio phorcas
Papilio phorcas

Several papilio species were found taking mineral salts on 26 January where a small stream crossed the path in the East Nimba Protected Area at a spot known as Cold Water

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Papilio horribilis
Papilio horribilis

Another of the swallowtails imbibing salts at Cold Water, 26 January

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Papilio horribilis
Papilio horribilis

photo at Cold Water on 26 January

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Papilio demodocus
Papilio demodocus

The common, but beautiful, Citrus Swallowtail resting low down on the old mining road leading from Yekepa into the hills on 27 January

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Papilio demodocus
Papilio demodocus

Possibly the same insect as in the previous photo, taken at the same locality 3 days earlier, 24 January

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Papilio demodocus
Papilio demodocus

Photographed on the same stretch of old road on 29 January

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Papilio zenobia
Papilio zenobia

Another one of the Cold Water group, 26 January

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Graphium tynderaeus
Graphium tynderaeus

Also at Cold Water, another stunning insect, 26 January

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Graphium latreillianus
Graphium latreillianus

This was at Cold Water also - makes you wonder what the attraction was!

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Graphium leonidas
Graphium leonidas

Another member of the Cold Water assembly, 26 January

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Graphium policenes
Graphium policenes

Possibly newly-emerged, found at the edge of the old mining road on 29 January

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Eurema brigitta
Eurema brigitta

Widely distributed, this one being photographed on the old mining road up from Yekepa on 27 January

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 Nepheronia argia
Nepheronia argia

Seen seeking shade at the track side in the East Nimba Protected Area during the early afternoon of 26 January

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Nepheronia thalassina
Nepheronia thalassina

This beautiful pale blue butterfly catches the eye when in flight and here it is seen resting in the East Nimba Protected Area in the early afternoon of 26 January

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 Belenois calypso
Belenois calypso

Photo taken on 25 January in the Community Forest to the north-east of Yekepa

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 Belenois hedyle
Belenois hedyle

Basking in the East NImba Protected Area, near Cold Water, on 26 January

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 Appias sylvia
Appias sylvia

A mid-morning shot on the old mining road on 27 January

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 Leptosia sp
Leptosia sp

Not sure about the identification of this specimen taken at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary in the East Nimba Protected Area on 26 January

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 Mylothris chloris
Mylothris chloris

Resting beside the old mining road on 27 January

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 Mylothris poppea
Mylothris poppea

Photographed on the old mining road out from Yekepa on 28 January

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 Mylothris spica
Mylothris spica

Seen on the way up to the recreation ground off the old mining road on 28 January

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Mimacraea darwinia
Mimacraea darwinia

Seen in the Community Forest to the north-east of Yekepa on 25th January, this small butterfly appears to mimic a member of the toxic acraea family, an example of Batesian mimicry

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Mimacraea darwinia
Mimacraea darwinia

The same insect as in the previous photo

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Falcuna leonensis
Falcuna leonensis

These small butterflies habitually perch on slender twigs and are quite easy to spot, this one being on the old mining road on 29th January

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Larinopoda eurema
Larinopoda eurema

Seen in the Community Forest, north-east of Yekepa on 25th January

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to be identified - no obvious match!
to be identified - no obvious match!

Photo taken around 10am near the Chimpanzee Sanctuary on 26th January

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 Epitola posthumus
Epitola posthumus

It's a real pity I couldn't get an upperside view of this mid-sized, wonderful, dazzling blue butterfly whose larvae are tended by ants high up in the trees. This photo was taken on 24th January on the old mining road

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 Aethiopana honorius
Aethiopana honorius

Another potential acraea Batesian mimic, and another fantastic blue upperside! Photo taken in the Community Forest on 25 January

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 Spindasis iza
Spindasis iza

Photo taken on 25 January in the Community Forest

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 Axiocerces harpax
Axiocerces harpax

Spotted at the edge of the old mining road out of Yekepa on 24 January

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Iolaus agnes (or closely similar)
Iolaus agnes (or closely similar)

This genus consists of around 46 West African species characterised by whitish undersides and two-tone blue uppersides. This particular specimen was seen on 27 January on the old mining road

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Hypolycaena dubia
Hypolycaena dubia

male seen on 25 January in the Community Forest

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Hypolycaena antifaunus
Hypolycaena antifaunus

female, old mining road, 27 January

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Hypolycaena antifaunus
Hypolycaena antifaunus

seen in the Community Forest on 25 January

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 Deudorix antalus
Deudorix antalus

Photo taken on 24 January on the old mining road

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 Deudorix lorisona
Deudorix lorisona

Located beyond the third set of radio masts up the old mining road on 29 January

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Anthene sylvanus
Anthene sylvanus

At the Cold Water site in the East Nimba Protected Area on 26 January

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Anthene larydas
Anthene larydas

Down by the river in the Kpatawee Wetland Ramsar site on 30 January (a somewhat ironic title as the wetlands are now rice paddies)

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Anthene lachares
Anthene lachares

Seen in the Community Forest on 25 January

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Anthene juba
Anthene juba

Imbibing salts near Cold Water on 26 January

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Anthene juba
Anthene juba

Also at Cold Water on 26 January

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Neurellipes lusones
Neurellipes lusones

a mid-morning shot in the Community Forest on 25 January

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Neurellipes lusones
Neurellipes lusones

The same insect as in the previous photo

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Triclema lucretilis
Triclema lucretilis

A highly mobile small butterfly, difficult to follow in flight, here seen on the old mining road on 28 January (yes, we spent a lot of time walking up and down this track in between visiting its 3 sets of radio masts in search of the Giant African Swallowtail!)

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Triclema lucretilis
Triclema lucretilis

Underside of the same insect

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Pseudonacaduba sichela
Pseudonacaduba sichela

Another species down by the river in the Kpatawee Wetlands on 30 January

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Uranothauma falkensteini
Uranothauma falkensteini

Seen on the track near Cold Water on 26 January

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Cacyreus/uranothauma belcastroi
Cacyreus/uranothauma belcastroi

A lovely insect, seen here on 24 January on the old mining road

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