Butterflies of Africa
Small Flame-bordered Charaxes
Charaxes anticlea  DRURY, 1782
subfamily - CHARAXINAE
Charaxes anticlea, Bobiri forest, Ghana Adrian Hoskins
The Charaxinae are a group of robust, medium to large Nymphalids characterised by having a rapid and powerful flight, stout bodies, falcate apexes, and a habit of feeding at dung and carrion. They are represented in the neotropics by genera including Consul, Memphis, Prepona and Agrias; in the Oriental and Australian regions by Polyura and Charaxes, and in Africa by Charaxes, Euxanthe and Palla.
There are 179 Charaxes species in the Afrotropical region, one of which - jasius, extends its range as far north as the Mediterranean coast of Europe. Most are forest-dwellers but several are adapted to savannah and arid Acacia thorn scrub habitats.
Most Charaxes species are black on the upperside, with bands of either white, orange or blue. The bands in some species are very broad, while in others they are narrow and broken into a series of small spots. Many Charaxes species have a pair of thin tails at the tornus of the hindwings.
Charaxes anticlea is distributed from Sierra Leone to Angola and western Kenya.
This is primarily a rainforest species, but it can also be found in quite dry and open types of forest, and in savannah / woodland mosaics where it inhabits the denser Acacia thickets.
The larval foodplants are Acacia and Mezoneuron ( Fabaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Unlike most Charaxes species it is common to see males of anticlea basking with wings outspread, usually quite low down on herbage. One unsavoury habit that it does have in common with other Charaxes species is a perverse liking for disgusting substances. It has a particular fondness for dung, into which it probes avidly with it's long proboscis, imbibing foul fluids from which it derives sodium and other minerals that are passed to females during copulation.

Charaxes anticlea, Bobiri forest, Ghana Peter Bygate



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