Caprona Wallengren 1857

Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, T. Colin E., 2011, Observations on the biology of Afro-tropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera) principally from Kenya. Part 2. Pyrginae: Tagiadini 2893, Zootaxa 2893 (1), pp. 1-66 : 31

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.2893.1.1

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scientific name

Caprona Wallengren 1857


Caprona Wallengren 1857

Three species of this genus are found in Africa and three more in the Oriental region ( Ackery et al. 1995). The genus differs from Abantis only in the irregular wing outline, the presence of a black hair pencil in the male under the thorax between or on the forelegs, the appearance and the genitalia ( Evans 1937). The males perch and defend territories. Larsen (1988) observed in India that the black hair pencils are on the inner side of the forelegs of C. ransonnetii (Felder) and are expanded and held projecting forwards when they perch. The same arrangement and behaviour has since been noted in C. pillaana ( Larsen 2005) .

Swinhoe (in Bell 1923b) considers that “the Indian species differ from the African in the length of the cell of fore wing, the well-developed vein 5 of the hind wing, the robust, protruding last joint of palpi and other less important characters." Bell (1923b) describes the caterpillar of C. ransonnetii as very similar in appearance and habits to that of Odontoptilum angulatum (C. Felder) , i.e. very similar to Netrobalane canopus as discussed below and the African Caprona spp. Of the Asian species, C. alida (de Nicéville) feeds on Helicteres isora ( Malvaceae ( Sterculiaceae )) in Sri Lanka ( Davidson et al. 1897), and C. ransonnetii feeds on the same species in India ( Bell 1923b; Kehimkar 2008). The known food plants of the African species are also Malvaceae ( Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae ). Larsen (2005) observed C. adelica Karsch under circumstances that indicated that it is likely to feed on a Grewia sp. as does C. pillaana (below). Dickson & Kroon (1978) and Pringle et al. (1994) attribute a record of C. cassualalla Bethune Baker feeding on Grewia sp. to G. Hobohm. Ackery et al. (1995) repeat this food plant record for C. cassualalla (which they incorrectly report as widespread from Nigeria to Namibia – see under C. pillaana ). The grey and beige markings and irregular wing shape immediately distinguish African Caprona spp. from other hesperiids.