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 (Lingamius) hardwickii Gray, 1831

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Parnassius hardwickii Gray, 1831: 32.
Type locality: Nepal
Type: probably in coll. NHM, London

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Parnassius jaquemontii sensu Kollar, 1844: 407, pl.2 figs. 3, 4. Misidentification.
Parnassius charino Gray, 1852: 76, pl. 12, figs. 13, 15.
Panassius hardwickii var. albicans Fruhstorfer, 1898: 147.
Parnassius hardwickei Bingham, 1907: 121. Emendation.


: India, Himachal Pradesh, Khoksar, H. McAuthur Collection, 1888      
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Robert Nash (CC-BY-2.5)
Detailed view

Description of adults (Bingham 1907): Wing expanse: 60 - 66 mm ". Upperside: creamy-white. Fore wing: base and costal margin densely irrorated with black scales; a broad short velvety black bar across middle of cell, another along the discocellulars and a third beyond apex of cell, this last with superposed spots of crimson where the bar crosses the bases of interspaces 5 and 8; a crimson-centred black spot in middle of interspace 1; an irregularly curved prominent postdiscal series of dusky-black spots, so arranged as to leave a narrow edging of the creamy-white ground-colour beyond, which is traversed by the black veins; the upper four spots of the postdiscal series fused to form a broad, continuous, but short, curved band; the terminal margin broadly dusky black; the cilia white. Both the dusky-black band and the postdiscal dusky-black markings subhyaline. Hind wing: base and dorsal margin broadly dusky black, the inner margin of the black coloration on the latter deeply but irregularly bi-emarginate; a crimson-centred black spot near base of interspace 5, another just beyond the middle of interspace 7, followed by a very conspicuous curved postdiscal series of five dull blue ocelli ringed with black and centred with white, and a narrow diffuse dusky black terminal band; cilia as in the fore wing. Underside : similar, with a glassy appearance. Fore wing: with the markings of the upperside visible by transparency; the white scaling of the upperside replaced by scale-like hairs of the same colour; the only scaled markings are the medial and apical transverse black bars in cell, three small crimson spots beyond and the black-encircled crimson spot in middle of interspace 1. Hind wing: the white scaling along the basal half of the costal margin nearly as on the upperside, the rest hair-like as on the underside of the fore wing; a broad basal band of four crimson or vermilion-red spots followed by a discal irregular series of five similarly-coloured spots, the lower three formed into a short obliquely transverse band above the tornal angle; all the crimson spots encircled more or less obsoletely by black rings, and the following prominently centred with white: the spot in interspaces 2 and 5 and the basal and medial spots in interspace 7.- . Similar; the dusky black irroration on the upperside of the fore wing more extensive and formed into a narrow irregular band below the cell, which runs between the crimson spots beyond the cell-apex and the crimson spot in interspace 1; the crimson spots are larger, with an additional spot in interspace 6 of the fore wing and a pretornal spot on the hind wing. Underside: similar to that of the but all the red spots much larger and with white scaling in the centre. Antennae nearly black, with only a few white specks, head with brownish-yellow pubescence; rest of the thorax and abdomen covered densely with long white hairs which also clothe, more or less narrowly, the dorsal margin of the hind wing."

Variability: "Like all forms in the genus this is largely variable; the black irroration and crimson markings are, in many specimens, much reduced in extent and size; in some also the crimson is replaced by pink. This may be partly seasonal or due to either a drier or a damper habitat. The form named charino by Gray is most probably a wet-season or autumn form. It differs from typical hardwickei as follows : . Upperside: more or less completely and densely irrorated with dusky black, from which on the fore wing two bars that cross the cell, a short oblique bar beyond its apex, a postdiscal spot near the costa beyond the crimson spots, and a subterminal series of spots stand out conspicuously white; on the hind wing the interval between the basal and postmedial crimson spots in interspace 7 is also prominently white. Underside: markings as on the upperside chiefly seen through by transparency, the apex broadly and terminal margin of fore wing and the whole of the hind wing suffused conspicuously with greenish yellow." (Bingham 1907).


Following Bingham (1907), the species occurs in the Himalayas from Kashmir and Kulu to Nepal and Sikhira (Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan following Häuser et al. 2005). Its vertical distribution is recorded from 7500 to 15000 feet (appr. 2300 - 4600 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.
Gray, J. E. 1831. Descriptions of eight new species of Indian Butterflies (PAPILIO Lin.) from the collection of General HARDWICKE. Zoological Miscellany I: 32-33.
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].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2011.07.01
Kurz Michael: 2011.07.06
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.17
Kurz Michael: 2019.02.14
not reviewed