Flame-bordered Charaxes

Courtney Quigley —  July 9, 2013 — 3 Comments

A stunning butterfly from western Africa, the flame-bordered charaxes (Charaxes protoclea) is well-named: it definitely looks aflame in bright sunlight! Seen from above, the lower central portions of the female’s wings are white-hot; the wingtips display a range of yellow-to-orange spots, and a strip of brilliant orange frames each wing. (The males’ wings are a muted brownish-black, but also bordered in fiery orange.)


A female flame-bordered charaxes (Charaxes protoclea) top view.

PHOTO: Male flame-bordered charaxes.

A male flame-bordered charaxes (Charaxes protoclea) top view.

From below, charaxes are much more toned down, colored in muted browns and grays with a single dark eye spot. Male butterflies are a subtle maroon-brown in color, while females are light tan, with a single wide, white stripe midwing. The different coloring on the wing patterns of each sex is known as sexual dimorphism, and is fairly common in butterflies (see our mocker swallowtail post for another kind of dimorphism).

Preview all the butterflies currently being exhibited at chicagobotanic.org/butterflies/species.

©2013 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Courtney Quigley


Horticulturist Courtney Quigley can be found in the Butterflies & Blooms exhibition, where she curates the species featured; mounts and tends the chrysalises, cocoons, and hatching butterflies and moths; and generally deals with all things Lepidoptera.

3 responses to Flame-bordered Charaxes

  1. jeff richardson July 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Hey Courtney:

    I was at a photo shoot of the butterflies on Wednesday morning. It was super. I was wondering if you could help me with some identification. I would be grateful if you could email me – I do not have your email address.



    • Courtney Quigley July 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      Hey Jeff!
      Hope you got my personal reply to your comment. I’d be happy to help with ID. Just send me your images and I will gladly identify them for you.

  2. Christina Weisbard July 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Jeff, did you see there is a webpage for the exhibition’s butterflies? Maybe you can match your images there. Check out http://www.chicagobotanic.org/butterflies/species

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>