Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius)

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2018 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

19270_male_Gard_28Aug09 19488_male_Var_07Sep09 25025_sex?_Var_24May11
1367_male_Var_1Jun06 42795_female?_Var_21May17 19186_male_Gard_28Aug09
 
40759_male_Var_19Jun16 42603_pupa_Var_09May17  

Jasius is the sole representative of the huge tropical Charaxes genus, and is very much restricted to the Mediterranean region in France. It is a powerful flier, huge in flight and cannot be missed or really mistaken for anything else. It is bivoltine, the first generation in May/June and the second generation being on the wing August/September. Lafranchis describes it as rare in the spring, more common at the end of summer. I have to say that has not been my experience, although they were more numerous in the Autumn of 2008 than previous years. "Common" is probably the wrong description, as it is so large that It can hardly go unnoticed, whereas if it were as common as, say, the Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli), the sky would seem full of them.

It finds alcohol quite irresistible and its behaviour is very interesting; when it senses an alcohol source close to humans, it circles around several times and settles in a nearby tree for a period of time ("casing the joint"), presumably to make sure that there are no predators around. Only then does it come down and again checks the area while sitting on the edge of the feast of a rotting banana (fermenting to produce alcohol) laced with a few drops of rum. Then it starts to sample the delights on offer, with its huge black proboscis. Once settled, it does not seem to be concerned that a camera is approaching, even though it is clearly not becoming intoxicated. The second generation seemed less tempted by the bait.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
19270 M

a magnificent fresh male enjoying the delights of dog droppings. It was one of three and all were 100% pristine.

210
19488 M

a rather worn specimen, probably a male.

60
25025 ? a male perhaps, quite fresh but not quite as crisply marked as 19270. 60
1367 M

a close up.

60
42795 F? I suspect this is a female based on body shape. It had just emerged from the chrysalis shown in 42603, and was in the process of drying its wings just prior to its maiden flight. 60
19186 M

a rare shot of open wings, albeit a very poor photograph. It was one of a trio (see notes under 19270) and the competition was so fierce that occasionally one would flash its wings open briefly to ward off the others, hence the only opportunity to get a photograph was using the five frames/second feature of the camera.

210
40759 M a rare open wing shot. I have found one of their haunts where the a male patrols along a dried up river bed and perches on a branch to survey his territory. This individual is rather worn, and I plan to revisit the location to try to get a shot of a fresh open-winged individual. 20
42603 PUPA a jasius chrysalis. It is twelve days before emergence, so it is still green. In the last few days before emergence, the wing cases become transparent and the wing pattern can clearly be seen. 42795 is what emerged. 220

 

19270_male_Gard_28Aug09

 

19488_male_Var_07Sep09

 

25025_sex?_Var_24May11

 

1367_male_Var_1Jun06

 

42795_female?_Var_21May17

 

19186_male_Gard_28Aug09

 

40759_male_Var_19Jun16

 

42603_pupa_Var_09May17