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

Archon apollinaris (Staudinger, [1892])

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Doritis apollinus var. apollinaris Staudinger, [1892]: 225.
Type locality: Asia minor [Turkey], Goman Otti, 1500 m
Type: probably in coll. Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


Iran, Karmanch, Karand garb, 1200 m, 2005.05.01, coll. Michael Kurz underside: Iran, Karmanch, Karand garb, 1200 m, 2005.05.01, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 . Forewing length: 25,2 mm. Wing expanse: 46,7 mm. Head black-brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on frons distant, long, black; eyes semiglobular, elongate, dark grey-brown; posterior margin of eyes and basis of antennae outlined in red; antennae about 2/5 of forewing length, black-brown, scarcely creamy scaled along the flagellum, without scales on the club-shaped distal end; labial palpi directed ahead, their length equal to the diameter on an eye, creamy scaled, with a dense distant brush of creamy partly mixed black hair-like scales; thorax black-brown, scarcely scaled with long black-brown hair-like scales; forewings scarcely scaled, transparent, light creamy, except for the submarginal and marginal area densly irrorated with delicate black strigulae; at the base and along the costal margin, the irroration consisting of somewhat bigger spots; in the middle and at the distal end of the discoidal cell a big black spot of irregular oval shape across the whole width of the cell, delicately outlined in ground colour (devoid of black irroration); submarginal area proximally of ground colour, devoid of any irroration, sharply separated from a somewhat irregular, dark grey fascia across the whole wing width; marginal area similar to this fascia, separated by a delicate creamy sinuous line; hindwings creamy-white, except for the blackish scaling at the basis, the latter extending along the proximal half of the inner margin, and the marginal area devoid of any further markings; marginal area a broad, grey band; along its proximal border a row of five distinct roundish black spots, centered in blue and outlined in red proximally; a tiny red spot close to the tornal angle and some blue and red scales near the apex; underside of all wings similar to the upperside, with a fatty gloss; markings, except for the two big black spots in the cell of the forewing and the marginal band with coloured spots of the hindwing only shining through from the upperside; thorax on the underside with a scarce duft of long, creamy, partly mixed black hair-like scales; legs with a similar duft, otherwise black-brown, scarcely scaled creamy; abdomen black, posterior margins of tergites and complete sternites of segments 4-7 of dull red colour; underside of abdomen at the basis with a scarce duft of long, whitish, hair-like scales.


The species is distributed in western and north-western Iran, northern Iraq and north-eastern Turkey (Häuser 2006, Nazari & Carbonell 2008). Vertical distribution is documented by only two records, which range from 1200 - 1500 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2011).


Western Iran      
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Carbonell Frédéric (creative commons)
Detailed view

Like Archon apollinus (Herbst, 1798), the species probably inhabits dry and rocky places with sparse vegetation, although in higher altitudes. The imagines fly in one generation per year in spring (two records in May following Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Stages in development:

Larva. The larva is said to feed on Aristolochia maurorum (Ackery 1975), A. bottae (Koçak 1982), A. olivieri and A. paecilanthea (Hesselbarth et al. 1995).


A. apollinaris : Western Iran A. apollinus bellargus : Israel, Haifa, Zichron Yaakov, 2006.02.27 A. bostanchii : Iran  
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Carbonell Frédéric (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: © Zeller Christof
Detailed view
Picture from: www.tolweb.org: © Carbonell Frédéric
Detailed view

For a long time, the taxon apollinaris has been treated as a subspecies of Archon apollinus (Herbst, 1798). Due to its sympatric occurence with apollinus in parts of its range (Carbonell 1991) and to morphological and genetical differences, it is now regarded to be a distinct species (De Freina 1985). Following Staudinger [1892], A. apollinaris differs externally from A. apollinus in its smaller size (wingspan 38 - 47 mm compared to 50 - 60 mm). Dark markings in the forewing are much weaker in apollinaris, the dark margin of the hindwings is much narrower, the submarginal spots being smaller, with only little red. In the males of apollinaris, the hindwings are devoid of any further markings, in the females, they are less scattered than in A. apollinus. A reddish tinge, often present in females of apollinus, misses in apollinaris. Genitalia differences are provided by De Freina (1985) and Carbonell (1991).
Archon bostanchii De Freina & Naderi, 2003, originally described as a subspecies of A. apollinaris, is now also regarded as distinct species, mainly based on substantial differences in molecular and morphological characters (Carbonell & Michel 2007, Nazari & Sperling 2007). Externally, A. bostanchii is even smaller than A. apollinaris, with more rounded hindwings. The forewings are suffused with a densely extended dusty pattern, contrasting to the light ground colour. In the females, these dust-like markings also appear on the upperside of the hindwings, leaving only a narrow light band in the post-discal area. The dark margin in the hindwings is extraordinarily broad in both sexes (narrow in apollinaris), the red and blue submarginal spots being vestigial or reduced (De Freina & Naderi 2003).

Worth knowing:


Ackery, P. R. 1975. A guide to the genera and species of Parnassiinae (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History, Entomology 31: 71-105, pl. 1-15.
Carbonell, F. 1991. Contribution à la connaissance du genre Archon Hübner 1822: Découverte de zones de sympatrie pour Archon apollinus (Herbst) et A. apollinaris Staudinger (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Linneana Belgica 13: 3-12.
Carbonell, F. and M. Michel 2007. Une espèce jumelle méconnue du genre Archon Hübner, 1822 (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 112 (2): 141-150.
De Freina, J.J. 1985. Revision der Gattung Archon Hübner 1822 mit Angaben zur Biologie, Verbreitung, Morphologie und Systematik von Archon apollinus (Herbst 1798) und Archon apollinaris Staudinger [1892] 1891 (stat. nov.) (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae). Nota Lepidopterologica 8: 97-128.
De Freina, J. J. & A. R. Naderi 2003. Beschreibung einer neuen Unterart von Archon apollinaris (Staudinger, 1892) aus dem südwestlichen Zentral Zagros, bostanchii subspec. nov., mit ergänzenden Angaben zur Gesamtverbreitung der Art (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae, Parnassiini). Atalanta (Marktleuthen) 34: 429-434, 474-477.
Häuser, C. 2006. Papilionidae. In: Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., van Hertum J., eds. (2008). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist. Digital resource at www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2008/. Species 2000: Reading, U.K
Hesselbarth, G., H. van Oorschot & S. Wagener 1995. Die Tagfalter der Türkei. 1. 754 pp. Bocholt, Selbstverlag Sigbert Wagener.
Koçak, A. Ö. 1982. Notes on Archon apollinus (Herbst, 1798) (Papilionidae, Lepidoptera). Priamus 2: 44-64.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2011. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 27 June 2011].
Nazari, V. & F. A. H. Sperling 2007. Mitochondrial DNA divergence and phylogeography in western palaearctic Parnassiinae (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae): How many species are there? Insect Systematics and Evolution, 38(2): 121-138.
Nazari, V. & F. Carbonell 2008. Archon apollinaris (Staudinger, [1892]). Version 11 March 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Archon_apollinaris/65402/2008.03.11 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/
Staudinger, O. 1891 [1892]. Neue Arten und Varietäten von Lepidopteren des paläarktischen Faunengebiets. Deutsche entomologische Zeitschrift Iris 4 (2): 224-339; pl. 3, 4.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2008.08.19
Kurz Michael: 2011.06.27
Kurz Michael: 2011.08.11
Kurz Michael: 2011.09.09
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2011.09.09
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2011.09.09