Large-spotted Acraea Caterpillar and Chrysalis from the Congo

Congo, Kinshasa spiked and yellow banded caterpilalr and pupa
Location: Kinshasa, Congo
December 22, 2011 4:06 pm
Mr. Bugman,
Can you please help us ID the caterpillar and pupa in the following photographs from Kinshasa, Congo ?
Signature: Katy and her dad

Large-spotted Acraea Caterpillar from the Congo

Dear Katy and her dad,
Can you confirm if the caterpillar pictured metamorphosed into the attached chrysalis, or if they are different species?  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he is able to identify this species which we believe is a member of the Brush Footed Butterfly family Nymphalidae.

Two views of a Large-spotted Acraea Chrysalis

We are not completely sure that they are the same but the chrysalis
was in the same place we left the caterpillar 3 days prior.  Katy’s
mom says she thinks she saw it already attached  there in yellow form.
Thanks for your help!

Keith Wolfe responds.
Dear Katy, Dad (plus Mom), and Daniel,
This is the larva and pupa of the Large-spotted Acraea, Acraea zetes.  I will write more after returning home tomorrow.  Merry Christmas!
Best wishes,

Daniel and Kieth,
Thanks much for the ID and Merry Christmas.
Katy and her mom and dad.

Keith Wolfe elaborates:
December 28, 2011
Hello again Katy, Dad, and Daniel,
Yes, with luck, your chrysalis will metamorphose into Acraea zetes (; here’s the same caterpillar from Gabon —[email protected]/455607804/.  However, with something like 135 species of Acraea recorded from the DRC, most of whose immature stages are unknown, it’s entirely possible that my long-distance ID is wrong.  Thus, please let us know the outcome, preferably showing the resulting butterfly to a local authority or carefully comparing it to a reliable reference.  Disclaimer: the hyperlink appearing in my initial response was inserted by the ever-helpful Bugman.
Cheers from a chilly California,

Thanks again for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us!!  We brought the chrysalis into the house with hopes to see it emerge and if lucky, document the event as it occurs.  At the very least we will get pictures of the emergent butterfly before releasing it .
Stay warm and Happy New Year to you both.
Katy and her dad.

UPDATE:  December 29, 2011
Daniel and Keith,
We got emergence !  Unfortunately no one was home when it happened to get pictures of the process but we got pictures of the butterfly here :
Does it look like Acraea zetes after all ?

Acraea Chrysalis prior to emergence

Daniel and Keith,
We were lucky to find the butterfly after emerging yesterday.  Unfortunately everyone was out of the house when the event occurred sometime between noon and 4pm.   You can see pictures of the chrysalis that morning and the butterfly in the series created here.  I hope species confirmation can be made with picture of the butterfly form.
Thanks again.

Newly Metamorphosed Acraea

Dear Katy and her dad,
We would love to include the emerged imago on our site, however, we would like to request that you attach the images to your response as it is not possible to grab the images from Flickriver.

Newly Metamorphosed Acraea species

Please find images attached

Large Spotted Acraea or closely related species from the Congo

Dear Katy and her Dad,
We are thrilled to get your new photos for our website.  In addition to creating an addendum to your December 22 submission of the Acraea Caterpillar and Chrysalis, we will be creating a brand new posting that links to the original.

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