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) nordmanni [Ménétries], [1850]

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Parnassius nordmanni [Ménétriés], [1850]: pl. 4, fig. 4
Type locality: Georgia, Adshara mountains (Mt. Sokornia, SW Meskhetian Mt. Range, Georgia)
Type: Lectotype : Georgia, Adshara mountains, design. Nekrutenko (Hesselbarth et al., 1995: 273); in coll. ZISP, St. Petersburg

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Doritis clarius Herrich-Schäffer, [1845]: 146. Junior primary homonym of Doritis clarius Eversmann, 1843.
Parn[assius] Pataraeus Westwood, 1852: 530. Junior subjective synonym of Parnassius nordmanni nordmanni [Ménétriés], [1850].
Parnassius Nordmanni var. minima Honrath, 1885: 272. Type locality: Kurusch near Basardjusi, eastern Caucasus (Daghestan). Junior subjective synonym of Parnassius nordmanni nordmanni Ménétriés, 1850.
Parnassius nordmanni aber. ochroleuca Austaut, 1911. Type locality: de la chaine du Caucase. Unavailable infrasubspecific name.
Parnassius Nordmanni var. minima ab. lunulatus Bryk, 1912. Type locality: None given. Unavailable infrasubspecific name.
Parnassius nordmanni christophi Bryk & Eisner, 1932: 90. Type locality: Caucasus, Berg Tschugusch, Berg Uschba, Berg Oschton. Junior subjective synonym of Parnassius nordmanni nordmanni Ménétriés, 1850.
Parnassius nordmanni f. trachomophthalmos Bryk & Eisner, 1932. Type locality: Caucasus, Berg Tschugusch, Berg Uschba, Berg Oschton. Unavailable infrasubspecific name.
Parnassius nordmanni bogosi Bang-Haas, 1934: 135. Type locality: Caucasus, Tindi, Bogos mount. 4000 m. Junior subjective synonym of Parnassius nordmanni nordmanni Ménétriés, 1850.
Parnassius nordmanni thomai de Freina, 1980: 50-62. Type locality: Turkey, Rize, Kackar mountains, 3100-3400 m. Subspecies.


: Caucasus, Georgia : Caucasus, Georgia : Caucasus : Caucasus, Georgia
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Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
: Georgien, Svanetia, Layla, Mestia, 3400 m, 2011.08.20, leg. Skrupskelis K., coll. Michael Kurz : Caucasus, Georgia underside: Georgia, Svanetia, Layla, Mestia, 3400 m, 2011.08.20, leg. Skrupskelis K., coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 , pictures of 4 and 1 . Wing expanse: 57 mm.

. Head black, frons with distant white-grey, ventrally black tuft of hair-like scales; palpi with long distant black, partly white-grey mixed hair-like scales; eyes semigobular, dark brown; antennae sligthly more than 1/3 of forewing length, black; thorax black, distant, but not very densely covered with whitish-grey, hair-like scales; forewing upperside white with broad grey outer margin, narrowing towards tornal angle; the grey colouration created by black scales, not completely covering the translucent wing membrane; costal margin irrorated black with a diffuse greyish spot postdiscally; an elongate, intense black, crosslike spot each in middle of cell and at discus; hindwings blackish irrorated in a broad belt at inner margin, scales not completely covering wing membrane; this irroration extends into a broad tip towards discus; hindwings otherwise white, with a black ringed, brick-red eye-spot each slightly proximally to middle of costal margin and distally to discus, between veins M1 and M2; underside except for the blackish inner margin of hindwing, as well as the spots of fore- and hindwings devoid of any scales, with fatty gloss; legs and abdomen black, scarsely covered with long, whitish-grey, hair-like scales.

. Female similar to male, but generally with extended blackish irroration on forewing upperside, red spot on hindwing between M1 and M2 with a smaller satellite between M2 and M3 and an additional black-ringed, brick-red spot at inner margin near tornal angle.


The distribution area of the species is restricted to the Caucaus and the north-eastern border mountains in Anatolia. Häuser et al. (2005) list the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia and Turkey. Following Hesselbarth et al. (1995), the animals fly in a height of 2200-2400 m in the Adshara mountains in Georgia, in the north-western and central Caucasus from 2600-2900 m, in the eastern Caucasus (Daghestan) from 3500-4000 m and in the north-eastern mountains in Anatolia, in the border area of the provinces Artvin, Rize and Erzurum from 2800-3300 m.


Biotopes of the typical subspecies are species-rich, dense and high alpine meadows, wheres ssp. thomai inhabits southwardly directed, steep screes nearly devoid of any vegetation, but with high humidity. The imagines fly in one generation from mid July till mid August. Daily activity has been observed from 7-12 a.m., but not in the afternoon. As nectar sources, Cephalaria- and Geranium-species have been recorded, but also thistle-like Asteraceae with violet or white blossoms and especially a species of Doronicum with yellow blossoms (all data following Hesselbarth et al. 1995).

Stages in development:

Description of early stages following Hesselbarth et al. (1995):

Egg. The egg is semiglobular, whitish, with flattened underside, flattened pole and a heavily sculptured surface, which is, however, less crude than in Parnassius mnemosyne (Linné, 1758); micropyle area shallow pit-like indented, distinctly different from the surrounding wall; inner micropyle rosette with 4-6 drop-like elements, surrounded by 2-3 crowns of semi-round to polyhedral, leaf-like elements; all single elements divided from each other by small grooves (Häuser et al. 1993); in the surrounding wall revolving, lifted ridges and deeper lying longitudinal ridges; compared with P. mnemosyne, this network with twice as many funnel-shaped depressions.

Larva. First instar possibly survives longer periods beneath snow layers (Salk 1983); they are very active in the first days after hatching, in order to find nutrition; first instar about 4 mm long, completely black, covered with long black clusters of hair-like bristles; dorso-laterally, weakly developed rows of whitish spots; fullfed larva 40-45 mm long, tapering to both sides; ground colour blackish, somewhat hairy; first thoracic segment with an orange spot on each side; second thoracic segment with two orange spots on each side; third thoracic segment with an orange spot on each side and a posteriorly lying, brown-grey spot; first seven abdominal segments with an orange, a grey-brown and a white spot on each side; 8th abdominal segment with only an orange and a grey-brown spot; last abdominal segment with an orange spot, anal plate with a grey-brown spot; osmeterium orange. In total, 5 larval stages have been recorded. Pupation takes place in a brownish-yellow, tough cocoon (Salk 1983). Food plants of the larva are species of Corydalis.

Pupa. The pupal stage lasts only about 2-3 weeks (Salk 1983).


genitalia. Uncus missing; tegumen dorsally with deep notch, bordered by broad appendages, tapering nearly into a sharp tip; from ventral side, a slender appendage on each side; valve broad, anterior margin irregularly rounded; cucullus heavily sclerotized, on lower margin of valve posteriorly towering above and tapering into a curved tip; Vinculum very narow; saccus short and broadly rounded; aedeagus long and slender, base enlarged into two short lobes in ventral view.


Within its restricted distribution area, the species might be confused only with Parnassius apollo (Linné, 1758). The latter however, is distinctly larger and on the forewing it bears a big black spot above the inner margin, which misses in P. nordmanni. Furthermore, in P. nordmanni, the grey postdiscal fascia misses too. In the -genitalia, in contrast to P. apollo, the uncus is completely missing, the tegumen bears at its end ventrally a slender appendage at each side, the valves are much broader and the saccus is much shorter.


Chromosome number (haploid): unknown (Hesselbarth et al. 1995).

Worth knowing:


Häuser, C., C. M. Naumann & A. W. A. Kreuzberg 1993. Zur taxonomischen und phylogenetischen Bedeutung der Feinstruktur der Eischale der Parnassiinae (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Zoologische Mededelingen 67: 239-264, 55 Abb.
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 23 May 2014].
Hesselbarth, G., H. van Oorschot & S. Wagener 1995. Die Tagfalter der Türkei unter Berücksichtigung der angrenzenden Länder. Band 1. Selbstverlag Siegbert Wagener, 754 pp.
[Ménétriés, E.] [1850]. [Neue Parnassius-Spezies und -Varietäten] in: Siemaschko, J.: Russkaja Fauna...Insekten, Teil 6, Heft 17, Taf. "Tscheschujekrylyje Dnevnyje 4".
Salk, P. 1983. Neue Beobachtungen zur Biologie von Parnassius nordmanni Mén. ssp. christophi B. E. (Lep., Papilionidae). Deutsche entomologische Zeitschrift (N.F.) 30 (1-3): 239-241, Taf. 12.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2011.09.06
Kurz Michael: 2011.09.16
Kurz Michael: 2012.01.25
Kurz Michael: 2012.02.29
Kurz Michael: 2012.08.03
Kurz Michael: 2014.05.23
Kurz Michael: 2015.04.29
Kurz Michael: 2019.01.16
not reviewed