Charaxes jasius

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Charaxes jasius
Nymphalidae - Charaxes jasius.JPG
Genova, Italy
Two-tailed pasha (Charaxes jasius jasius) Greece.jpg
C. j. jasuis, Sithonia, Greece
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Charaxes
C. jasius
Binomial name
Charaxes jasius
  • Papilio jasius Linnaeus, 1767
  • Papilio jason Linnaeus, 1767
  • Charaxes pelias brunnescens Poulton, 1926
  • Charaxes pelias saturnus ab. brunnescens Rothschild, 1900
  • Charaxes epijasius Reiche, 1850
  • Charaxes epijasius maculatus Suffert, 1904
  • Charaxes epijasius f. murina Le Cerf, 1923
  • Charaxes epijasius f. feisthameli Le Cerf, 1923
  • Charaxes pelias liberiae Le Cerf, 1923
  • Charaxes jasius epijasius f. aeson Stoneham, 1960
  • Charaxes jasius epijasius f. plutus Stoneham, 1960
  • Charaxes jasius epijasius f. alcimede Stoneham, 1960
  • Charaxes jasius epijasius var. melas van Someren, 1963
  • Charaxes jasius epijasius f. aesonius Stoneham, 1964
  • Charaxes harrisoni Sharpe, 1904
  • Charaxes jasius harrisoni f. saturnalis van Someren, 1963
  • Charaxes pelias pagenstecheri Poulton, 1926
  • Charaxes saturnus ab. pagenstecheri Schultze, 1913
  • Charaxes castor var. flavicinctus Butler, 1895

Charaxes jasius, the two-tailed pasha or foxy emperor, is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is the only European species of the genus Charaxes.


Charaxes jasius is a medium to large butterfly with a wingspan reaching 65–75 mm in males and 75–90 mm in females.[1] The uppersides of the wings are dark brown with orange margins. The hindwings bring two short tails, characteristic of most species of the genus. Close to these tails there are a few blue markings. The underside of the wings is reddish brown with numerous darker bands edged with white or gray. The orange marginal band is also present on the undersides of the wings and it is preceded by a white transversal band. The caterpillar is green, cylindrical and has two yellow ocelli on the back. The head bears four horns facing backwards.

Food plants[edit]

The adults prefer ripe fruits, of which they suck the sugary liquids. The larvae feed on a wide range of plants, including Afzelia quanzensis, Annona (including Annona cherimola), Arbutus unedo, Bauhinia (including Bauhinia galpinii and Bauhinia petersiana), Berlinia, Brachystegia (including Brachystegia edulis and Brachystegia spiciformis), Burkea africana, Cassia, Cassine, Catha edulis, Celtis africana, Colophospermum mopane, Copaifera baumiana, Croton, Daniella oliveri, Guibourtia conjugata, Gymnosporia (including Gymnosporia senegalensis), Hibiscus, Isoberlina, Julbernardia globiflora, Khaya senegalensis, Laurus nobilis, Lonchocarpus cyanescens, Lonchocarpus sericeus, Maytenus, Osyris lanceolata, Pleurostylia africana, Protea, Prunus persica, Pseudocedrala, Schotia brachypetala, Sorghum (including Sorghum roxburghii), Vaccinium corymbosum, Xanthocercis zambesiaca and Xeroderris stuhlmannii.[2]

Life cycle[edit]

Charaxes jasius has two generations per year: the first in May–June and the second in August–September. After the second it spends the winter in the larval stage, to flicker the next spring. The female lays the eggs on the upper surface of the leaves of the host plant, laying no more than one egg per leaf. The larva make a kind of "bed" by silky wires, on which it returns promptly after feeding on surrounding leaves. Then they hang on a twig and pupate. After a period that can range from two weeks to one month, the pupa opens letting out the butterfly.


This species occurs in the Mediterranean region and Africa.[2] In Africa, it has been recorded from North Africa, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Gabon, the Central African Republic, the RCongo and DRCongo, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.[3]


Its typical habitat in Europe is the Maquis shrubland, up to 700–800 meters above sea level. In Africa it is found in savanna and thornbelt habitats.


  • C. j. jasius (Southern Europe, North Africa)
  • C. j. brunnescens Poulton, 1926 (Gabon, northern Angola, Central African Republic, south-western Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • C. j. epijasius Reiche, 1850 (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, southern Sudan, northern Uganda, northern Ethiopia, Somalia, north-western Kenya) - cream-bordered charaxes
  • C. j. harrisoni Sharpe, 1904 (south-western Uganda, south-western Kenya, north-western Tanzania)
  • C. j. pagenstecheri Poulton, 1926 (southern Ethiopia, Somalia)
  • C. j. saturnus Butler, 1866 (eastern and north-eastern Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, central and southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, north-eastern Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland) - foxy charaxes or koppie charaxes


The members of the Charaxes jasius group are:

Feeding individual
Male C. j. saturnus


  1. ^ Woodhall, Steve (2005). Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7.
  2. ^ a b "Charaxes Ochsenheimer, 1816" at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  3. ^ Afrotropical Butterflies: File H - Charaxinae - Tribe Charaxini
  • Victor Gurney Logan Van Someren, 1963 Revisional notes on African Charaxes (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Part I. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Entomology) 195-242. [1]

External links[edit]