Nymphalidae is the largest family of butterflies with more than 3,400 species distributed worldwide. They are usually small to medium-sized butterflies, and a few species are large. They are rich in color and shape with quite sophisticated patterns.
This picture shows different African Nymphalidae. The two rows on the bottom and the column on the far left of the picture are species of the subfamily Charaxinae. It contains more than 400 species, all of which are distributed globally except in Antarctica. The patterns on both sides of their wings are completely different. The wings of some specises have dark shades on the underside, forming a protective color that makes it difficult for predators to find them, so they usually close their wings when resting. Most specises are medium-sized butterflies, and the outer edges of the hind wings are zigzag. They are vigilant and fly fast. They feed on sap of trees and decayed fruits, and less visit flowers.
The 2 butterflies with large white spots on their wings in the upper middle of the picture are Madagascar diadem (Hypolimnas dexithea), the largest species of Nymphalidae in Africa endemic to Madagascar. It has appeared on local stamps for Many times. The pearl-colored large butterflies on both sides of them are called the forest mother-of-pearl (Salamis parhassus). Due to the pearl-like color on the wings, it is often used in butterfly wings patings. The red small butterflies below are the blood-red glider (Cymothoe sangaris), which is also often appreared in stamps as a rare purely red butterfly species.