Butterflies of Africa
Common Red Charaxes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - CHARAXINAE
Tribe - CHARAXINI
Amedzofe, Likpe Hills, Ghana
© Adrian Hoskins
Charaxinae are a group of robust, medium to large Nymphalids
characterised by having a rapid and powerful flight, stout bodies,
triangular forewings, and a habit of feeding at dung and carrion.
They are represented in the neotropics by genera including
Agrias; in the Oriental and Australian regions by
Charaxes, and in Africa by Charaxes,
The genus Charaxes
contains 179 African species, one of which, C.
jasius, extends it's range as far north as the Mediterranean
coast of Europe. Most are forest-dwellers, but several are adapted
to savannah and Acacia scrub habitats.
Charaxes lucretius is found across
tropical Africa from Senegal to Uganda, western Kenya and Zambia.
This species inhabits primary and degraded rainforest at altitudes
from sea level to about 800m.
The larval foodplants include Hugonia (
Linaceae ) and Annona ( Annonaceae ).
The butterfly has also been observed ovipositing on
Trema ( Ulmaceae ).
often patrol back and forth along forest roads and wider sunlit trails
in search of mammalian dung, on which they feed avidly. If disturbed
they generally return within a few minutes.