Charaxes castor

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Giant emperor
Charaxes castor, ♂.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Charaxes
Species: C. castor
Binomial name
Charaxes castor
(Cramer, [1775])[1]
  • Papilio castor Cramer, 1775 (not Westwood, 1842)
  • Charaxes castor var. godarti Aurivillius, 1899
  • Charaxes castor f. aginga Stoneham, 1931
  • Charaxes castor godarti f. severus Biederman, 1935
  • Charaxes castor f. flavimarginalis Stoneham, 1936
  • Charaxes castor var. flavifasciatus Butler, 1895
  • Charaxes castor var. orientalis Lanz, 1896
  • Charaxes castor flavifasciatus f. reimeri Rothschild, 1900
  • Charaxes castor flavifasciatus ab. dyscrita van Son, 1979

Charaxes castor, the giant emperor or giant charaxes, is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae. It is found throughout the Afrotropical ecozone below the Sahel.[2]

The wingspan is 75–85 mm in males and 85–105 mm in females. The flight period is year-round but more common in late summer to autumn.[3]


Male upperside from Toupé, Ivory Coast
Male underside from the Central African Republic
Female upperside from Maka, Central African Republic

A full description is given by Walter Rothschild and Karl Jordan, 1900 Novitates Zoologicae Volume 7:287-524. [1] page 436 et seq. (for terms see Novitates Zoologicae Volume 5:545-601 [2])

Life history[edit]

Larvae feed on Bridelia micrantha, Afzelia quanzensis, Tragia spp., Gymnosporia spp., Maytenus senegalensis, Schotia brachypetala, Bridelia micrantha and Cassia fistula.[2][3]


Listed alphabetically.[2]

  • C. c. arthuri van Someren, 1971 (Pemba island)
  • C. c. castor (Cramer, [1775]) (throughout African range)
  • C. c. comoranus Rothschild, 1903 (Comoros)
  • C. c. flavifasciatus Butler, 1895 (eastern Kenya, northern and eastern Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, eastern Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland)


The members of the Charaxes jasius group are:


  1. ^ Afrotropical Butterflies: File H - Charaxinae - Tribe Charaxini
  2. ^ a b c "Charaxes Ochsenheimer, 1816" at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  3. ^ a b Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7. 
  • Victor Gurney Logan Van Someren, 1971 Revisional notes on African Charaxes (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Part VII. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Entomology)181-226.[3]

External links[edit]