Two-tailed Pasha. Charaxes jasius (Linnaeus, 1767)
This species is also known as the Foxy Emperor. Wingspan: From 6.2 to 8.5 cm.
Closed wings: A peculiar pattern composed of red, brown and white stripes stands out. A wide white stripe goes across the forewings and hindwings. Outer borders are orangey or yellowish and have two tails on each hindwing, as well as some blue spots.
Open wings: They are brown with broad orangey or yellowish stripes on the outer margins. There are blue spots and two tails on the hindwings.
This species is impossible to be confused with any other species, whether it rests or flies, due to its size, patterns and colours.
Biology and Habitat
Two generations are born a year. They fly from March to November, although they are usually seen in June, July and August, and sometimes in October, if the weather is convenient for this species.
These butterflies are commonly present in well-preserved cork oak or river bank groves, and other places where strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), their caterpillars' foodplant can be found. These butterflies are migratory species and spread easily, so they can be seen in any kind of forests or in mountainous areas, even on the tops, as they exhibit hilltopping. These butterflies fly powerfully and glide, so they can look like birds. From time to time, they get closer to people on their way and go around them. They like resting on middle-high or high branches and bushes, where they spend some time under the morning sun.
Distribution in the Great Path
The species has been spotted on only four stages of the GMP. These are the stretches that go along the Genal River and through the Alpujata and Mijas Mountains. Nevertheless, considering their migratory nature and their favourite habitat, they are likely to be present on all stages in the western part of Málaga. They could even be spotted in the Tejeda and Almijara Mountains, but in small numbers and at limited locations. It is greatly important to send any information about spotting the species in the east and north of the province to the author of this guide.