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 (Kailasius) charltonius Gray, [1853]

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Parnassius charltonius Gray, [1853]: 77, pl. 12, fig.7.
Type locality: Chinese Tartary [...] at an elevation of 15,000 feet [China, Tibet, appr. 4650 m a.s.l.]
Type: Syntype : China, Chinese Tartary, [Tibet], Major Charlton leg., in coll. NHM, London


P. charltonius vaporosus: Pamir mountains : without data    
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Notafly (creative commons)
Detailed view

Description of adults (Bingham 1907): Wingspan: 74 - 96 mm. ". Upperside: creamy-white. Fore wing irrorated with black scales at base, along costal margin narrowly and below the upper half of cell at base of interspaces 2 and 3; cell with the usual medial and apical short broad transverse black bars; a short broad, similar, but obliquely placed bar beyond apex of cell from costa to vein 4, its lower portion below vein 5 narrower and bent inwards at an angle; a postdiscal transverse black bar attenuated towards the dorsum and dislocated inwards below vein 5; followed by a broad, posteriorly narrowed, subhyaline terminal edging; cilia white. Hind wing: base and dorsal margin, for four-fifths of its length, broadly and densely irrorated with black scales; a short oblique pretornal dusky-black bar, rarely centred with pink or carmine; a very large pink to deep crimson ocellus, ringed with black and centred with white, in interspaces 4 and 5, crossing vein 5, and a much smaller black spot sometimes centred minutely with pink or crimson in middle of interspace 7; beyond this a postdiscal curved series of five velvety-black spots, each touched inwardly with silvery, superposed on a broad subhyaline dusky transverse band, which is broadest in the middle and is followed by a subterminal, somewhat narrow, dusky-black band, interrupted at the veins; cilia white. Underside similar, with a glassy appearance and similar markings, seen chiefly, however, by transparency from the upperside. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen black, antennae with some few minute white specks; beneath: head and thorax anteriorly with olivaceous pubescence, thorax posteriorly and abdomen covered with long white hairs, which also clothe the dorsal margin of the hind wing. - . Upper and wider sides similar to those in the ; differs in the black markings which are broader, the red ocelli on the hind wing that are considerably larger, and in the obliquely placed pretornal short bar that is always centred with red."


The species occurs in a wide range of countries: Afghanistan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (Hšuser et al. 2005). Bingham (1907) records it at elevations from 9000 - 15000 feet (appr. 2800 - 4650 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. 1852 [1853]. Catalogue of the Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Part I. Papilionidae. Taylor & Francis, London, 81 pp., 15 pl.
Hšuser, 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: 2011.03.01
Kurz Michael: 2011.06.02
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.17
Kurz Michael: 2013.02.26
not reviewed