Charaxes (Charaxes) brutus alcyone Stoneham, 1943

Liseki, Steven D. & Vane-Wright, Richard I., 2015, Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) of Mount Kilimanjaro: Nymphalidae subfamilies Libytheinae, Danainae, Satyrinae and Charaxinae, Journal of Natural History 50, pp. 865-904: 887

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2015.1091106


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Charaxes (Charaxes) brutus alcyone Stoneham, 1943


Charaxes (Charaxes) brutus alcyone Stoneham, 1943  

Henning 1989: 103 (2 figs). SI: Figure 21a – d.

Forewing length: male 40 – 49.5 mm [mean (n = 11) 43.58 mm, SD = 2.256]; female 44 – 51 mm [mean (n = 7) 47.01 mm, SD = 1.874]. van Someren (1970, p. 219) gave average male forewing length as 40 mm – which from our data appears to be an underestimate.

Note: The subspecific assignment of populations of C. brutus (Cramer, 1779)   in the northern highlands appears uncertain ( van Someren 1970, p. 219; Larsen 1996, p. 288).


A common butterfly throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara, although supposedly relatively uncommon in West Africa ( Ackery et al. 1995; Larsen 2005). Found in all suitable habitats in Tanzania, up to 2600 m, including Pemba ( Kielland 1990, p. 98). Although not encountered during this study, C. brutus   was recorded from Kilimanjaro by van Someren and Rogers (1928, p. 153, as brutus   natalensis Staudinger, 1885), and is included here as a member of the lower slopes fauna. Rogers (in Butler 1901, p. 23) noted it as ‘ fairly common ’ at Taveta (four males in OUMNH). The BMNH collection has two males from West Kilimanjaro (Ngaserai, and Engare-Nairobi) collected by Cooper at altitudes between 3000 and 5000 ft, a female from the ‘ slopes ’, and two pairs from Arusha collected by A.H.B. Rydon. Beyond northeastern Tanzania, C. b. alcyone occurs only in eastern and coastal Kenya. C. b. natalensis occurs from the Cape northwards to Angola and southern and western Tanzania.