Butterflies and skippers of the afrotropical region



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BUTTERFLIES AND SKIPPERS

OF THE AFROTROPICAL REGION
(PAPILIONOIDEA AND HESPERIOIDEA)

© Seventh edition (2008)

(Copyright Reserved)
FILE H – CHARAXINAE (NYMPHALIDAE)

Compiled by Mark C. Williams


183 van der Merwe Street, Rietondale
PRETORIA 0001
E-mail: mark.williams@up.ac.za

FAMILY NYMPHALIDAE
Swainson, 1827


SUBFAMILY CHARAXINAE

Guenée, 1865

Subfamily Charaxinae Guenée, 1865

Tribe Charaxini Guenée, 1865

Tribe Euxanthini Rydon, 1971

Tribe Pallini Rydon, 1971

Tribe Prothoini Roepke, 1938 [not Afrotropical]

Tribe Preponini Rydon, 1971 [not Afrotropical]

Tribe Anaeini Reuter, 1896 [not Afrotropical]



TRIBE CHARAXINI

Guenée, 1865




Genus Charaxes Ochsenheimer, 1816
Die Schmetterlinge von Europa 4: 18 (212 pp.). Leipzig.

Type-species: Papilio jasius Linnaeus, by monotypy.


= Paphia Fabricius, 1807. In: Illiger, K., Magazin für Insektenkunde 6: 277-289. Type-species: Papilio jasius Linnaeus, by subsequent designation (Crotch, 1872). Cistula Entomologica 1: 66 (59-71). [Invalid; junior homonym of Paphia Röding, 1798, and Paphia Lamarck, 1799.] [Placed on the Official List of Rejected and Invalid Names in Zoology; Opinion 577, 1959. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 17: 140-142.]
= Eriboea Hübner, 1819 in Hübner, [1816-[1826]. Verzeichniss bekannter Schmettlinge 46 (432 + 72 pp.). Augsburg. Type-species: Papilio etheocles Cramer, by subsequent designation (Scudder, 1875. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 10: 166 (91-293).).
= Jasia Swainson, 1832 in Swainson, 1832-3. Zoological illustrations, or original figures and descriptions of new, rare or interesting animals selected chiefly from the class of Ornithology, Entomology and conchology (1) 1: pl. 90 ([xxvii] pp.). London. Type-species: Papilio jasius Linnaeus, by original designation. [Placed on the Official List of Rejected and Invalid Names in Zoology; Opinion 577, 1959. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 17: 140-142.]
= Monura Mabille, 1876. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 1: 280 (194-203, 274-281). Type-species: Papilio zingha Stoll, by monotypy. [Invalid; junior homonym of Monura Ehrenburg, 1831, and Monura Gistl, 1874.]
= Zingha Hemming, 1939. Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London (B) 8: 136 (133-138). [Replacement name for Monura Mabille.]
= Hadrodontes Stoneham, 1964: 102. Get ref. - no ref. in Ackery, et al., 1995. [Invalid; no type-species designated.]
= Stonehamia Cowan, 1968. Annotationes Rhopalocerologiae 1968 6 (20 pp.). Berkhamsted. Type-species: Papilio varanes Cramer, by original designation. [Replacement name for Hadrodontes Stoneham.]
Synonym based on extralimital type-species: Haridra Moore.
A large Old World genus containing 193 species, 169 of which are Afrotropical. A single Afrotropical species extends into the Palaearctic Region. Comprehensively reviewed by S. Henning (1989). Species groups follow Henning.

VARANES GROUP

Charaxes varanes (Cramer, 1777)
Papilio varanes Cramer, 1777. Die Uitlandsche Kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen Asia, Africa en America 2: 100 (151 pp.). Amsteldam & Utrecht.

Charaxes varanes varanes. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 81mm. Yellowwoods, Natal. 27.II.1960. K.M. Pennington. (Transvaal Museum - TM3333).
Type locality: [South Africa]: “sur l’Isle d’Amboine and sur la Cote de Coromandel”. [False locality.]

Diagnosis: Basal areas of wings whiter than in C. acuminatus and c. fulvescens (Kielland, 1990).

Distribution: Senegal (Kielland, 1990), Gambia (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Guinea-Bissau (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Guinea, Burkina Faso (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Ghana, Togo (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Benin (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, to Central African Republic, Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland.

Common name: Common pearl charaxes; pearl charaxes.

Habitat: Mainly in dry forest, open forest and dense savanna. Readily colonizes degraded wet forest (Larsen, 2005a). In Tanzania ssp. vologeses is found from sea-level to 2 300 m (Kielland, 1990). Rarely found in wetter forests (Larsen, 2005a).

Habits: A common charaxes. The flight is moderately fast and flapping. Males defend territories from prominent perches on trees, usually two to eight metres above the ground (Larsen, 2005a). Both sexes are attracted to fermenting fruit (Pringle, et al., 1994). Males are not attracted to animal scats or carrion. Van Someren and Rogers (1928) noted that they feed from the stems of maize plants damaged by cetoniid beetles, on the Kenyan coast. Bampton observed them migrating northwards from central Tanzania, over a distance of at least 480 km, together with individuals of Charaxes candiope (Henning, 1989; Larsen, 1991; Larsen, 2005a).

Flight period: All year.

Early stages:
Trimen & Bowker, 1887, Vol. 1: 323 [as Charaxes Varanes (Cramer)] (C. v. varanes).

Larva. Dull bluish-green above; pale whitish-green beneath, irrorated with very minute silvery dots. On 6th, 8th, and 10th segments, a pale-ochreous, somewhat crescentic, mark on the back, - that on the 10th segment very faint and only found in full-grown specimens. A thin, sinuated, silvery lateral stripe. Head flat, armed with four backward-sloping, recurved, somewhat serrated horns, bright turquoise-blue beneath, and in young specimens edged with reddish. Anal segment flattened, bifid.” “Pupa. Pellucid blue-green with a delicate plum-like bloom. On each side of abdomen a row of six black dots. On anal pedicel two pairs of small yellowish tubercles, and a similar pair on ventral surface, close to pedicel, facing towards the head. Mr. Mansel Weale, who sent me the notes and drawings from which the above description of the larva and pupa (found near King William’s Town, Cape Colony) are drawn up, informed me that the chrysalis state lasted for fourteen days. Colonel Bowker also reared Varanes in Natal, and in 1882 sent me a specimen with the skin of the pupa from which it had emerged. On this skin the tubercles on and near the tail described by Mr. Weale were very prominent and conspicuous, being tipped with black; it further presented two raised black spots, one on each side of the bluntly bifid head. This pupa was attached to the edge of a green leaf.”


Trimen & Bowker, 1889: 406 [as Charaxes Varanes] (C. v. varanes).

Pupa. In June 1887 I received from Colonel Bowker two living pupae of this butterfly, from which I obtained a ♂ perfect insect on June 19 (pupation 18th May), and a female on June 26th. These pupae were semi-transparent, of a uniform bright-green, with a wax-like surface; six abdominal spiracles on each side, and six caudal tubercles, black. They were very thick and swollen abdominally, but became gradually slenderer and narrower anteriorly. Head very shallowly bifid. Inferior outline, along middle line of head and thorax, almost straight; dorsal median line of thorax and inner-marginal edges of wing-cases somewhat prominently but smoothly ridged or keeled. Length, about 1 inch; greatest width and also greatest depth – across third abdominal segment – ½ inch. The band of light reddish-brown silk to which these pupae were attached completely encircled the slender stem of Cardiospermum halicacabum, on which the insects were suspended. Colonel Bowker found the larvae feeding on this widely-spread tropical climber near D’Urban, Natal, and called my attention to the general resemblance borne by the pupae to the younger somewhat heart-shaped inflated seed-vessels of the plant, which hang similarly, though by a much longer pedicel”.


Fawcett, 1903: 168. (C. v. varanes).
Van Someren and Rogers, 1928: 113. (C. v. vologeses).
Dickson, 1972: 41 [as Charaxes varanes] (C. v. varanes).
Clark, in Van Son, 1979: 143 [as Charaxes varanes varanes] (C. v. varanes).

“Eggs are laid singly on the surface of a leaf. They are 1,5 mm in diameter by 1,25 mm high, with 20 faint undeveloped ribs composed of seven to eight faint moles. Pale watery yellow when laid, they develop a reddish circlet. The larva hatches after five days. It eats its way out near the top of the egg and after a short rest consumes the shell. It takes a stance on the midrib of a leaf where it spins a silken mat on which it rests. It crawls away to feed but returns to its mat. This procedure is followed throughout the larval state. The larvae have a habit of holding to the leaf with the centre claspers and raising their extremities. There are normally five instars, but sometimes there are six. The five-instar larvae grow in the 1st instar from 4 to 7 mm in five days, in the 2nd instar to 11 mm in five days, in the 3rd to 16 mm in six days, in the 4th to 28 mm in seven days, and in the 5th instar to 50 mm in 14 days. The six-instar larvae grow in the 1st instar from 4 to 6,5 mm in five to seven days, in the 2nd to 9 mm in six days, in the 3rd to 13 mm in six days, in the 4th to 23 mm in six days, in the 5th to 35 mm in six days, and in the 6th to 50 mm in 14 days. The pupa is 28 mm long and is suspended by cremastral hooks. The imago emerges after some 14-18 days. The species is many-brooded.”


Henning, 1989.
Larval food:

(Probably) Rhus laevigata L. (syn. viminalis Vahl) (Anacardiaceae) [Mansel Weale, in Trimen & Bowker, 1887, Vol. 1: 324] (C. v. varanes).



Cardiospermum halicacabum L. (Sapindaceae) (exotic) [Bowker, in Trimen & Bowker, 1889: 406; Durban] (C. v. varanes).

Allophylus africanus Beauv. (Sapindaceae) [Platt, 1921: 102 (South Africa); Blandin, et al., 1975 (Ivory Coast)] (C. v. varanes and C. v. vologeses).

Allophylus macrostachys Radlk. (Sapindaceae) [Van Someren, 1974: 321] (C. v. vologeses).

Allophylus subcoriaceus Bak. f. (Sapindaceae) [Van Someren, 1974: 321] (C. v. vologeses).

Allophylus glaucescens (Sapindaceae) [Van Someren, 1974: 321].

Allophylus natalensis (Sond.) De Winter (Sapindaceae) [Dickson and Kroon, 1978: 58] (C. v. varanes).

Allophylus melanocarpus (Sond.) Radlk. (Sapindaceae) [Dickson and Kroon, 1978: 58] (C. v. varanes).

Schmidelia species (Sapindaceae) [Kielland, 1990: 110].

Allophylus dregeanus (Sond.) De Winter (Sapindaceae) [Oberprieler, in Pringle, et al., 1994: 86; KwaZulu-Natal] (C. v. varanes).

Rhus longispina (Anacardiaceae) [Claassens, 2005].

Note: The population of C. varanes on Pemba Island, Tanzania appears to belong to a distinct subspecies but too few specimens are available for a description to be made (Kielland, 1990: 110).
Charaxes varanes varanes (Cramer, 1777)
Papilio varanes Cramer, 1777. Die Uitlandsche Kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen Asia, Africa en America 2: 100 (151 pp.). Amsteldam & Utrecht.

Charaxes varanes varanes. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 81mm. Yellowwoods, Natal. 27.II.1960. K.M. Pennington. (Transvaal Museum - TM3333).
Type locality: [South Africa]: “sur l’Isle d’Amboine and sur la Cote de Coromandel”. [False locality.]

Distribution: Mozambique (south), South Africa (Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape Province, Western Cape Province - south-east), Swaziland.

Specific localities:

Limpopo Province – Mica (Swanepoel, 1953); Tubex (Swanepoel, 1953); Chuniespoort (Swanepoel, 1953); Woodbush (Swanepoel, 1953); Mokeetsi (Swanepoel, 1953); Groot Spelonken (Swanepoel, 1953); Sibasa (Swanepoel, 1953); Entabeni Forest (Swanepoel, 1953); Lousi Trichardt (Swanepoel, 1953); Waterpoort (Swanepoel, 1953); Saltpan (Swanepoel, 1953); Blouberg (Swanepoel, 1953); Legalameetse Nature Reserve (“Malta Forest”).

Mpumalanga – Barberton (Swanepoel, 1953); Lydenburg district (Swanepoel, 1953); Graskop (Swanepoel, 1953); Marieps Kop (Swanepoel, 1953); Buffelskloof Nature Reserve (Williams).

KwaZulu-Natal – Oribi Gorge (Swanepoel, 1953); Umkomaas (Swanepoel, 1953); Durban (Swanepoel, 1953); Hluhluwe (Swanepoel, 1953); Pietermaritzburg (Swanepoel, 1953); Estcourt (Swanepoel, 1953); Tugela River (Swanepoel, 1953); Eshowe (Swanepoel, 1953).

Eastern Cape Province – Port Elizabeth (Swanepoel, 1953); Suurberg (Swanepoel, 1953); Somerset East (Swanepoel, 1953); Katberg (Swanepoel, 1953); Grahamstown (Swanepoel, 1953); Port Alfred (Swanepoel, 1953); East London (Swanepoel, 1953); Stutterheim (Swanepoel, 1953); Butterworth (Swanepoel, 1953); Bashee River (Swanepoel, 1953); Port St Johns (Swanepoel, 1953).

Western Cape Province – Wilderness (Swanepoel, 1953); Knysna (Swanepoel, 1953); Plettenberg Bay (Swanepoel, 1953); Mossel Bay (Pringle, et al., 1994); Cape Peninsula (Pringle, et al., 1994; strays).

Swaziland – Mlawula N. R. (www.sntc.org.sz).
Charaxes varanes bertrami Riley, 1931
Charaxes varanes bertrami Riley, 1931. Entomologist 64: 279 (279-280).

Type locality: Oman: “Wadi Arbot; Gurgaz, N.E. of Salalah”. Holotype (male) in the Natural History Museum, London.

Distribution: Oman, Yemen (extreme east) (Larsen, pers comm. 2002).
Charaxes varanes torbeni Turlin, 1999
Charaxes varanes torbeni Turlin, 1999. Lambillionea 99: 181 (171-182).

Type locality: Yemen: “Wadi Dhabab, 15 Km sud de Taïz, 1100m, Nord Yemen, 23-VIII-1993.” In M.N.H.N., Paris.

Distribution: Yemen (Larsen, pers comm. 2002).
Charaxes varanes vologeses (Mabille, 1876)
Palla vologeses Mabille, 1876. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 1: 280 (194-203, 274-281).

Type locality: Democratic Republic of Congo: “Congo ... Landana”.

Diagnosis: In ssp. vologeses the white markings on the upperside are broader than in the nominate subspecies (Pringle, et al., 1994).

Distribution: Senegal (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Gambia (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Guinea, Guinea- Bissau (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Burkina Faso (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Liberia, Ivory Coast (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Benin (Larsen, pers comm. 2002), Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, to Central African Republic, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia (throughout), Angola, Mozambique (north), Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia (north).

Specific localities:

Sierra Leone – Freetown (Owen & Chanter, 1972).

Ghana – Atewa Range (Joly, 2003).

Benin – Noyau Central, Lama Forest (Fermon, et al., 2001).

Nigeria – Vom (Owen, 1977); Warri (H. Boersma teste Larsen, 2005a); Kaduna (R. St Leger teste Larsen, 2005a); Oban Hills (Larsen, 2005a).

Tanzania – widespread, including Pemba Island (the population on Pemba may represent an undescribed subspecies) (Kielland, 1990).

Namibia - Waterberg Plateau Park (Swart, 2004)
nigrescens Butler, 1896 (as sp. of Charaxes). Journal of the Linnean Society of London 25: 401 (348-404). Sierra Leone.
brachycauda Le Cerf, 1923 (as ?ssp. of Charaxes varanes). Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Paris 29: 367 (360-367, 428-429). Mozambique: “Mozambique, Guenère, Haute Vallée de Pungoué”.
minor Storace, 1948 (as ab. of Charaxes varanes vologeses). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale (di Genova) Giacomo Doria 63: 140 (132-141). Ethiopia: “Sciotalit (Scioa, Abissinia)”.
antinorii Storace, 1948 (as ab. of Charaxes varanes vologeses). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale (di Genova) Giacomo Doria 63: 141 (132-141). Ethiopia: “Sciotalit (Scioa, Abissinia)”.

Charaxes defulvata Joicey & Talbot, 1926
Charaxes varanes defulvata Joicey & Talbot, 1926. Entomologist 59: 221 (220-226).

Type locality: Sao Tome and Principe: “Sao Thomé”. Holotype (male) in the Natural History Museum, London.

Distribution: Sao Tome and Principe (island of Sao Tome).

Habitat: Forest.

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Note: C. defulvata Joicey & Talbot, 1926 is treated as a subspecies of varanes (Cramer, 1777) by Van Someren (1974: 480). Henning (1989: 40) treats defulvata as a distinct species on the authority of Plantrou (1983). Plantrou’s paper is, however, an unpublished thesis; thus the taxonomic change is, strictly speaking, not valid.

Charaxes fulvescens (Aurivillius, 1891)
Palla varanes var. fulvescens Aurivillius, 1891. Entomologisk Tidskrift 12: 216 (193-228).

Type locality: Cameroon: “Camerun”.

Distribution: Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin (Fermon et al., 2001), Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia.

Kielland (1990) gives the Comoro Islands (in error?).



Common name: Forest pearl charaxes.

Habitat: Dense evergreen forest at low to moderate altitudes. In Tanzania at altitudes of 800 to 2 000 m (Kielland, 1990).

Habits: A reasonably common species that often settles on tree trunks and on the underside of thick branches (Larsen, 2005a). It usually flies in the forest understorey, rather than the canopy.

Early stages:
Van Someren and Van Someren, 1926: 336 [ssp. monitor].
Henning, 1989: 43 [ssp. monitor].
Larval food:

Allophylus macrobothrys Gilg. (Sapindaceae) [Van Someren, 1974: 321].

Allophylus africanus Beauv. (Sapindaceae) [Blandin, et al., 1975 (Ivory Coast); Henning, 1989: 43].

Allophylus macrostachys Radlk (Sapindaceae) (exotic) [Henning, 1989: 43].

Allophylus subcoriaceus Baker (Sapindaceae) [Henning, 1989: 43].
Charaxes fulvescens fulvescens (Aurivillius, 1891)
Palla varanes var. fulvescens Aurivillius, 1891. Entomologisk Tidskrift 12: 216 (193-228).

Type locality: Cameroon: “Camerun”.

Distribution: Nigeria (east), Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Specific localities:

Nigeria – Kagoro (Larsen, 2005a: 321).
ocellatus Schultze, 1917 (as ab. of Charaxes fulvescens). Ergebnisse der Zweiten Deutschen Zentral-Afrika Expedition 1 (12): 588 (511-597). Cameroon: “Süd-Kamerun Molundu”.
Charaxes fulvescens imenti Plantrou, 1989
Charaxes fulvescens imenti Plantrou, 1989. In: Henning, 1989. The Charaxinae butterflies of Africa 43 (457 pp.). Johannesburg. Type locality: Kenya: “Imenti, Mt Meru”. Holotype male in the Natural History Museum, London.

Distribution: Kenya (central).

Specific localities:

Kenyalower Meru Forest on Mt Kenya; Nyambeni (=Imenti) Hills (Larsen, 1991).
Charaxes fulvescens marialuisae Canu, 1989
Charaxes fulvescens marialuisae Canu, 1989. In: Henning, 1989. The Charaxinae butterflies of Africa 41, 42 (457 pp.). Johannesburg. Holotype (male) in the collection of Dr J.G. Canu.

Type locality: Equatorial Guinea: “Bioko”.

Distribution: Equatorial Guinea (Bioko Island).
Charaxes fulvescens monitor Rothschild, 1900
Charaxes fulvescens monitor Rothschild, 1900 in Rothschild and Jordan, 1900. Novitates Zoologicae 7: 361 (287-524). Type in the Natural History Museum, London.

Charaxes fulvescens monitor. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 79mm. Entebbe, Uganda. 27-11-68. Rev. H. Falke. (Henning collection - H251).
Type locality: Uganda: “Fajao, Unyoro”.

Distribution: Central African Republic, Sudan (south), Democratic Republic of Congo (east), Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya (west), Tanzania (north-west), Zambia (north-west).

Specific localities:

Tanzania – From Mpanda to the Ugandan border (Kielland, 1990).

Zambia – A single record from Ikelenge (Heath and Fisher) (Heath, et al., 2002).
stonehami Jeffery, 1931 (as ssp. of Charaxes fulvescens). Bulletin of the Stoneham Museum (4): [1] ([1 p.]). Kenya: “Kitale”.
Charaxes fulvescens senegala van Someren, 1975
Charaxes fulvescens senegala van Someren, 1975. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Entomology) 32: 103 (65-136).

Type locality: Senegal: “Foret classée Santiaba-Mandjak”. Holotype (male) in the Museum national d’Histoire naturelle de Paris.

Distribution: Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin (Fermon, et al., 2001), Nigeria (west).

Specific localities:

Senegal – Santiaba-Mandjak (TL); Basse Casamance (Larsen, 2005a).

Sierra Leone – Freetown (Owen & Chanter, 1972).

Ivory Coast – Bossematie (Fermon teste Larsen, 2005a).

Ghana – Atewa Range (Joly, 2003).

Benin – Noyau Central, Lama Forest (Fermon et al., 2001).

Nigeria – Warri (H. Boersma teste Larsen, 2005a).
maesseni Plantrou, 1989 (as ssp. of Charaxes fulvescens). In: Henning, 1989. The Charaxinae butterflies of Africa 42 (457 pp.). Johannesburg. Holotype (male) in the Muséum nationale d’Histoire naturelle de Paris. Type locality: Ghana: “Anfoega”. Synonymized with C. fulvescens senegala van Someren, 1975 by Larsen, 2005a, syn. nov.

Charaxes saperanus Poulton, 1926
Charaxes saperanus Poulton, 1926. Internationaler Entomologen-Kongress 2: 569 (518-575).
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