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Butterflies of Africa
Flame-bordered Charaxes
Charaxes protoclea  FEISTHAMEL, 1850
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - CHARAXINAE
Tribe - CHARAXINI
Charaxes protoclea protoclea, Bobiri forest, Ghana Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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 protoclea is distributed across the forested tropics of Africa from Senegal to Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya and Zambia.
Habitats
This species is found commonly in all types of forested habitat.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Afzelia, Brachystegia, Berlinia, Bussea, Cassia, Julbernardia and other Fabaceae. Also Syzygium ( Myrtaceae ) and Oxytenanthera ( Poaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Both sexes spend most of their time in the canopy but males are occasionally attracted to rotting fruit or urine-soaked ground.

 

 

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