Charaxes latona Butler, 1865
Orange Emperor
CHARAXINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy Bob Miller, specimen courtesy of Mark Hopkinson, Iron Range, Queensland)

This species was probably named after the God Latona of Ancient Egypt.


(Photo: courtesy Bob Miller, specimen courtesy of Mark Hopkinson, Iron Range, Queensland)

The Caterpillars are green with a pale pink patch on the back of the first abdominal segment, and pairs of similar patches and/or black spots on later segments. The head has four long horns, with shorter horns between each pair, and two small horns on the tail. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 5 cms. It lives on a silk platform that it constructs on its foodplant. The caterpillars feed on a number of species of plant, including :

  • Three veined Cryptocarya ( Cryptocarya triplinervis, LAURACEAE ).

    The pupa is green with white markings. It is suspended head downward from a cremaster from a branch, and has a length of about 3 cms.


    (Photos: courtesy Clive Pratt and The Insect Company)

    The adult butterflies are brown with a submarginal band of black spots, which are wide at the forewing tip and narrow at the hindwing tornus. Underneath, they are orange with thin wavy black lines. The males have a lilac tinge underneath. The butterflies have a wingspan up to 8 cms.

    The species occurs in

  • New Guinea, and adjacent islands,

    and in Australia in

  • Queensland on Cape York.

    Specimens may be purchased from The Insect Company.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 530-531.

    Arthur G. Butler,
    Monograph of the Species of Charaxes, a Genus of diurnal Lepidoptera,
    Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London,
    1865, Part 3, pp. 631-632, No. 37, and Plate 37, fig. 1.

    Mark Hopkinson,
    Life history notes and observations of the Orange Emperor, Charaxes latona Butler, 1865 [Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae],
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 63 (December 2011), pp. 9-14,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    G.A. Wood,
    Some early stages of Charaxes latona Butler (Lepidoptera:Nymphalidae:Charaxinae),
    Australian Entomological Magazine,
    Volume 13 (1986), pp. 1-2.


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    (updated 13 March 2012, 11 July 2016)