Charaxes jasius, Crete - photo © Ch. Almpantakis
Charaxes jasius is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae on the island of Crete, Greece.
Charaxes jasius (Linnaeus, 1767)
Family: Nymphalidae > Subfamily: Charaxinae > Tribus: Charaxini > Genus: Charaxes
Male to female: 80-85 mm
It’s one of the largest and most distinctive butterflies on the island. The uppersides of the wings are dark brown with orange margins and the hindwings bring two short tails, where there are a few blue markings.
The underside of the wings is reddish-brown with a series of darker bands edged with white or gray. The orange marginal band is also present on the undersides of the wings and it is preceded by a white transversal band.
It flies very fast and powerfully and quickly disappears into bushes and trees, as it rather prefers the safety of trees. It rarely opens the wings and likes rotting fruits on the ground or on the trees; especially the second generation at the end of the summer.
Charaxes jasius in Crete live in the forests and in the shrubland with Arbutus unedo plants, olive groves, river banks. The butterfly is typical for sparse forests or bushy slopes with pine, Erica, and Arbutus.
The larva lives on Ericaceae (Arbutus unedo) plants.
The butterfly flies in two generations per year.
This butterfly is the only representative of the European species of the genus Charaxes.
It has a unique appearance in Crete and can’t be confused with other Nymphalidae butterflies of the island. It is quite difficult to spot this butterfly on the island, during any season.
Least Concern (LC)
Charaxes Jasius Distribution Map
Charaxes jasius location map based on greek butterflies distributions maps by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)