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) apollo (Linné, 1758)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Papilio apollo Linnaeus, 1758: 465.
Type locality: Sweden
Type: Lectotype : "Apollo 754."; in coll. The Linnean Collections at The Linnean Society of London (picture)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
More than 200 local races and indivudual forms have been named for this species. Here, it is not the place to repeat them all, although several of them represent valid subspecies. Instead, we refer to the listings by Savela (2016) or Waldeck (2009).

Apollo
l´Apollon
Apollo-Falter, Apollo
L´Apollo
Apolo

Habit:

P. apollo alpherakyi: Altai mountains P. apollo ciscaucasicus: Caucasus P. apollo caucasicus: Caucasus, Georgia P. apollo democratus: Tatarstan
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P. apollo kashtshenkoi: Armenia P. apollo limicola: Russia, southern Ural P. apollo merzbacheri: Kirghizia P. apollo suaneticus: Georgia
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Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
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P. apollo tkatshukovi: Armenia P. apollo brittingeri: Alps, Styria, near Altaussee, Loser, 1400 m, 1977.08.07, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz P. apollo brittingeri, underside: Alps, Styria, near Altaussee, Loser, 1400 m, 1977.08.07, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz  
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Description of adults: Examined: 1 from alpine population. Wing expanse: 66 mm. Eyes dark; labial palpi white with dark hair-like scales; antennae short, about 1/3 of forewing length, white, indistinctly ringed darker, clubs black; thorax and abdomen dorsally dark, ventrally whitish, with dense white to yellowish-grey hair-like scales, extending to anal margin of hindwing; upperside of wings scarcely scaled white, parchment-like, hyaline; forewings rounded, outer margin devoid of any scales in a width of appr. 3 mm; submarginally a blackish lunulate cross-line from costa across 3/4 of wing width; costa and basal area of wing indistinctly suffused blackish; subcostally two large black dots in center of cell and at discus, two smaller black spots postdiscally, one along costa, the second subcostally; another big black spot medially before inner margin; hindwings densely suffused blackish along inner margin, this suffusion extended and pointed at discus; at tornal angle two confluent black spots; another two larger and round spots, centered red and white, first proximally to middle of costal margin, second postdiscally; in some forms, wing margin greyish, as well as a row of indistinct, submarginal grey spots; underside of wings devoid of scales except for the mentioned spots; on hindwing-underside, all spots centered red, including four spots in anal area, bigger spots also centered white and delicately ringed black; legs light brown, tarsi ringed light and dark.

: Females are generally darker suffused blackish with more pronounced greyish spots and lunulae in submarginal area.

Distribution:

Besides most European countries, the species is locally distributed from Turkey and the Caucasus to Iran and central Asia (Kirghizia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China, see Häuser et al. 2005). In the Alps, the species inhabits a vertical range from appr. 500 - 1800 m, exceptionally it is found also above 2000 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2013).

Biology:

P. apollo apollo: Sweden, Trosa, Grönsö, 2008.07.26 P. apollo brittingeri: Austria, Styria, near Weiz, 2004.08.19 P. apollo brittingeri: Austria, Salzburg, Schafberg, 2008.07.06 P. apollo nevadensis: Spain, Andalucia, Sierra Nevada
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In the Alps, P. apollo inhabits dry, mostly rocky places on carbonate ground, where the foodplants of the larvae grow, but where also flowers for nectaring are nearby. These are mostly thistles like Carduus defloratus or knapweeds. On these plants, the animals have been found in competition to several other Lepidoptera, like zygaenids, pyralids, noctuids and other butterflies, especially Erebia sp. (Kurz & Kurz 2013). The animals are on the wing in a long-lasting generation from May till September.

Stages in development:

     
Larva of P. apollo nevadensis: without data      
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Description of early stages following Forster & Wohlfahrt (1976) and Tolman & Lewington (1998).

Egg. The egg is flatened, shining white, with grained sculpture. The eggs are mostly deposited on the stems of the foodplants, i.e. Sedum album and seldom also Sedum telephium.

Larva. Larvae hibernate fully developed within the chorion. Fullfed, they are about 50 mm long, velvety black with small steel-blue nipples and yellow to shining orange-red lateral spots. Larvae feed in full sunshine on the leaves of their foodplants.

Pupa. The pupa is stout, unmoveable, reddish brown, slightly blue frosted. It rests in a loose, wide-meshed cocoon beneath stones or among moss. The pupal stage lasts between 8-10 days to several weeks, depending on climatic influences, and so causing the prolonged emergence period of the imagines.

Anatomy:

 
-genitalia, lateral -genitalia, valve -genitalia, uncus and tegumen  
Picture from: © Higgins (1975), modified
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Picture from: © Higgins (1975), modified
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Picture from: © Higgins (1975), modified
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Genitalia (typical ssp.). "Uncus vestigial; valve horizontal, elongate, narrow, harpe massive; penis straight, substantial, base bilobed" (Higgins 1975).

Diagnosis:

P. apollo : Alps, Styria, near Altaussee, Loser, 1400 m, 1977.08.07, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz P. sacerdos : Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Sportgastein, 1650 m, 1978.08.20, coll. Michael Kurz P. corybas : Russia, Altai, near Ust-Kan, 2003.06.20, coll. Michael Kurz P. tianschanicus : Kirghizia, inner Tian-Shan mountains, Sary-Dzas range, Enelchec, 2600-2800 m, 2007.07.07, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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P. apollo underside: Alps, Styria, near Altaussee, Loser, 1400 m, 1977.08.07, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz P. sacerdos underside: Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Sportgastein, 1650 m, 1978.08.20, coll. Michael Kurz P. corybas underside: Russia, Altai, near Ust-Kan, 2003.06.20, coll. Michael Kurz P. tianschanicus underside: Kirghizia, inner Tian-Shan mountains, Sary-Dzas range, Enelchec, 2600-2800 m, 2007.07.07, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Quite similar to P. apollo are species of the formely Parnassius phoebus-subgroup, i.e in Europe Parnassius sacerdos Stichel, 1906 and in Asia Parnassius corybas Fischer de Waldheim, 1824. Both species are easily distinghuished by the conspiciously dark and light ringed antennae (in P. apollo much weaker and only indistinctly ringed) and the normally red centered postdiscal spots at the forewing upperside. Another quite similar species ist Parnassius tianschanicus Oberthür, 1879 from central Asia, which also has distinctly dark and light ringed antennae, often red centered postdiscal spots at the forewing upperside and distinct dark grey lunulae in a submarginal row on the hindwing upperside also in males.

Genetics:

Chromosome number (haploid): 30 (Higgins 1975)

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.) Holmiae. Systema Nat. ed. 10 i-ii + 1-824.
Forster W. & Th.A. Wohlfahrt (1976): Die Schmetterlinge Mitteleuropas, 2, 2. Auflage, Franckh´sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart
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].
Higgins, L. (1975): The Classification of European Butterflies, Collins, London
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2013. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 17 January 2013].
Savela, M. 2016. Lepidoptera and some other life forms. Parnassius Latreille, 1804. URL: http://ftp.funet.fi/index/Tree_of_life/insecta/lepidoptera/ditrysia/papilionoidea/papilionidae/parnassiinae/parnassius/index.html [online 22 June 2016].
Tolman T. & R. Lewington (1998): Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, übersetzt von M. Nuß, Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co., Stuttgart.
Waldeck, G. 2009. Parnassius of the world. URL: http://goran.waldeck.se/paindex.htm [online 2016.06.22].

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2008.08.04
Kurz Michael: 2011.06.02
Kurz Michael: 2011.09.16
Kurz Michael: 2011.09.28
Kurz Michael: 2012.01.25
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.16
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.18
Kurz Michael: 2014.04.24
Kurz Michael: 2015.03.20
Kurz Michael: 2015.03.21
Kurz Michael: 2016.06.29
not reviewed

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