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 (Driopa) glacialis Butler, 1866

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Parnassius glacialis Butler, 1866 (11th October): 50.
Type locality: Japan, Hokkaido, Hakodadi (= Hakodate)
Type: Syntype: 1 : Japan, Hakodadi, 66.15, in coll. BMNH.

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
The following list has been taken from Savela (2015):

Parnassius citrinarius Motschulsky, 1866: 189. Type locality: Japan, Hokkaido. Subjective synonym (junior or senior?) of Parnassius glacialis glacialis Butler, 1866.
Parnassius stubbendorfi nankingi Bang-Haas, 1927: 5, Taf. I, Fig. 3. Type locality: China or., Kiangsu, Nanking, Berg Paoschan. Subspecies.
Parnassius stubbendorfi sinicus Bryk, 1932: 47. Type locality: China, Chang-yong, Ichang und Pu-tsu-fong. Subspecies.
Parnassius stubbendorfi tajanus Bryk, 1932: 48. Type locality: China, Shantung, Taian, Tsaishan Mt. Subspecies.
Parnassius glacialis anachoreta Bryk, 1936: 3. Type locality: China, S Shaanxii, Tapaishan (Singling). Subspecies.


P. glacialis glacialis : Japan P. glacialis shikokuensis , PARATYPE: Isizuchi, Shikoku, May 1935    
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Nash Robert (creative commons)
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 of the typical ssp. Wing expanse: 67.2 mm. Hair-like scales on head long, distant, mixed black and orange-brown; palpi directed ahead, distinctly longer than head, laterally with orange-brown scales, ventrally with long, distant, black hair-like scales; eyes big, oval, brown; antennae about 1/4 of forewing length, completely black; thorax black, anteriorly, like tegulae, densely covered with orange-brown hair-like scales, otherwise only scarcely covered with whitish hair-like scales; forewing upperside not completely covered with scales, yellowish-white, with fatty gloss; veins narrowly boarded black-grey on both sides; scattered black-grey scaling distal of middle of cell and at discus, weaker also at basis, at anterior margin and in a broad, grey fascia at outer margin; in hindwing, a broad black scaling along inner margin almost to anal angle, narrow on both sides of veins, somewhat broader at discus and at distal ends of veins; fringe black on both wing pairs; underside nearly devoid of any scales, only with distant, very scarce, hair-like scales and whitish-yellow, fatty gloss; underside of thorax with long, yellow-orange, hair-like scales; legs black, with long black, hair-like scales; abdomen black, at upperside scarcely scaled yellowish-white, laterally and at basis of underside with long, yellow-orange dufts of hair-like scales.


Häuser et al. (2005) record the species from China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea. Data of the type specimens indicate a vertical distribution from at least 1700 - 3050 m a.s.l. (Ackery 1973).


Japan, Suzuka Mts., Mount Ryozen, 2011.06.04 Japan, Mount Ibuki, 2012.06.01    
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Alpsdake (CC0-1.0)
Detailed view
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Alpsdake (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Detailed view

Based on data from the type specimens in BMNH, the imagines fly in one generation from the end of April till July (Ackery 1973).

Stages in development:

Larva. The larvae feed on Corydalis ambigua, C. incisa, C. decumbens, C. remota and maybe also Aristolochia debilis (Savela 2015).


P. glacialis glacialis : Japan P. stubbendorfii moneronensis: Russia, Kuriles, Moneron island P. mnemosyne mnemosyne f. borussianus: Lithuania  
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view

P. glacialis is very similar to Parnassius (Driopa) stubbendorfii Ménétries, 1849, with overlapping distribution areas of both species in NE China and on the Korean peninsula. P. glacialis may be recognized however by the better developed cross-spots distad of the middle of the cell and at the discus of the forewings and especially by the yellow-orange dufts of hair-like scales on thorax and abdomen. Furthermore, the species normally is distinctly larger than P. stubbendorfii. Parnassius (Driopa) mnemosyne (Linné, 1758), also being quite similar to P. glacialis misses the yellow-orange dufts of hair-like scales on thorax and abdomen too, and the spots in the cell of the forewing are much better developed, being black instead of grey only.

Worth knowing:


Ackery, P. R. 1973. A list of the type specimens of Parnassius (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) in the British Museum (Natural History). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology. 29/1: 1-35, 1 plate.
Butler 1866. A list of the diurnal Lepidoptera recently collected by Mr. Whitley in Hakodadi (North Japan). The Journal of the Linnean Socity Zool. Lond. 9 (34): 50-59.
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].
Savela, M. 2015. Lepidoptera and some other life forms. Parnassius Hübner, [1818]. - available at: http://ftp.funet.fi/pub/sci/bio/life/insecta/lepidoptera/ditrysia/papilionoidea/papilionidae/parnassiinae/parnassius/ [online 21 April 2015].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2011.07.20
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.17
Kurz Michael: 2013.10.23
Kurz Michael: 2015.04.21
Kurz Michael: 2015.04.23
Kurz Michael: 2015.07.08
Kurz Michael: 2018.08.28
not reviewed