Charaxes smaragdalis (Western Blue Charaxes)
Charaxes smaragdalis, also called Western Blue Charaxes is a very great butterfly from Afrotopic ecozone (Africa). The first description was in 1865 by Butler. With a wingspan of 8.5 – 10.0 cm the Western Blue Charaxes is a small member of the family NYMPHALIDAE, but it is a typical member of the genus Charaxes. The butterfly is black with white and blue bands and spots. Hind wings have two little tails.
Photos for easy identification
The forewings are black. In the middle of wing there is a broad white band. At the margin there is a chain of little white spots.
The underside is fawn and greenish. Nearby the body there are some little black lines and spots. At the margin there is a chain of black spots. The white band from upside are also there.
The hind wings are black and have two little tails. The margin is ridged. At the margin there is a chain of white spots. There is a broad blue area on wing.
The underside is fawn and greenish. There are some black and green lines, spots and bands on wing. At the margin there is a chain of little white spots.
The body is brown, but the upside is black.
Sex differences: The male has no white on fore wings, but there is a blue band on wing.
Larval food / Foodplants
The first description of this butterfly was in 1865 by Butler. There are many subspecies.
- Charaxes smaragdalis butleri [Rothschild & Jordan, 1900]
- Charaxes smaragdalis caerulea [Carpenter & Jackson, 1950]
- Charaxes smaragdalis elgonae [van Someren, 1964]
- Charaxes smaragdalis gobyae [Plantrou, 1988]
- Charaxes smaragdalis homonymus [Bryk, 1939]
- Charaxes smaragdalis kagera [van Someren, 1964]
- Charaxes smaragdalis kigoma [van Someren, 1964]
- Charaxes smaragdalis leopoldi [Ghesquiere, 1933]
- Charaxes smaragdalis metu [van Someren, 1964]
- Charaxes smaragdalis toro [van Someren, 1964]
The blue coloure of Charaxes smaragdalis depend on perspective. Therefore the blue can change to violet.
Protection provisions / Red List
- CITES: (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):
-no entry- (as at 23.06.2005)
- EU regulation on trading with species of wild Fauna and Flora
-no entry- (as at 19.08.2005)
- IUCN Red List of threatened species:
-no entry- (as at 2004) (see: www.redlist.org/)
Similar and closely-related species
Charaxes smaragdalis Butler 1865
Western Blue Charaxes
Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree
- Kingdom: ANIMALIA
- Phylum: ARTHROPODA
- Class: INSECTA
- Order: LEPIDOPTERA
- Suborder: DITRYSIA
- Superfamily: PAPILIONOIDEA
- Family: NYMPHALIDAE
- Subfamilie: CHARAXINAE
- Tribe: CHARAXINI
- Genus: CHARAXES
- Specific name: SMARAGDALIS