N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Parnassius (Parnassius) epaphus Oberthür, 1879

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Parnassius epaphus Oberthür, 1879: 23.
Type locality: Tibet
Type: Lectotype : Tibet, in coll. NHM, London


without data China    
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Nash Robert (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view

Description of adults (Bingham 1907): Wingspan 62-73 mm. "Superficially this form closely resembles P. jacquemonti, but besides the structural differences of the anal pouch in the fertilized (fig. 31 b), in markings it differs as follows:
. Upperside, fore wing: the crimson black-encircled spots reduced to a minute subcostal dot in the black mark beyond the cell; the subhyaline terminal margin much narrower, with dentate white spots in the interspaces along the actual margin; cilia white, markedly alternated with black at the apices of the veins. Hind wing: the dusky black along the dorsal margin comparatively much broader, its inner border more irregular, deeply bi-emarginate, the crimson centre to the black mark above the tornal angle entirely absent. In no specimens that I have seen are the crimson spots centred with white. Underside: with the same glazed appearance as jacquemonti; markings as on the upperside, but on the fore wing the white dentate spots in the terminal row are larger, which give to the wing the appearance of having a subterminal as well as a postdiscal transverse series of dusky-black lunules. On the hind wing the row of basal and the obliquely-placed pre-tornal spots are as in jacquemonti but of a duller shade, while as in that form all the crimson spots are broadly centred with white. Antennae differ from those of jacquemonti as they are conspiciously ringed with white.
differs from the in the dusky black markings on the upperside that are broader, especially the postdiscal series on the fore wing: this generally forms a diffuse band and so often restricts the lunules of the white ground-colour beyond it, blending as it does diffusely with the subhyaline terminal margin. Anal pouch of fertilized (fig. 31 b) differs conspicuously from that of jacquemonti in the complete absence of the posterior high keel or carina."


The species has been found in Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan (Häuser et al. 2005). Following Bingham (1907), it flies in altitudes from 12000 to 17000 feet (= 3700 - 5300 m a.s.l.).

Worth knowing:


Bingham, C. T. 1907. Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Butterflies - Vol. II. Taylor & Francis, London, 480 pp., 20 pl.
Häuser, C. L., J. Holstein & A. Steiner 2005. The Global Butterfly Information System. http://www.globis.insects-online.de. Last updated 14.04.2011 [online 15 January 2013].
Oberthür, C. 1879. Desciptions d´Insectes nouveaux ou peu connus. Papilionidae. Etudes d´entomologie IV: XVII + 117 pp., 6 pl.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2011.03.01
Kurz Michael: 2011.06.02
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.17
Kurz Michael: 2013.02.08
not reviewed