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) sacerdos Stichel, 1906

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Parnassius phoebus sacerdos Stichel, 1906: 86. (nom. nov. pro delius Esp.).
Type locality: Switzerland and Tyrol
Type: Syntypes probably in coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich.

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Papilio phoebus auctorum nec Fabricius, 1793: 181. Missidentification.
Papilio phoebus de Prunner, 1798: 69. Type locality: Italy, Piemont, Varaita valley. Junior primary homonym of Papilio phoebus Fabricius, 1793.
Papilio delius Esper, [1804]: 114-115, pl. 115, fig. 5;. Type locality: near Geneva [Switzerland or France]. Junior primary homonym of Papilio delius Drury, 1782.
Parnassius phoebus palamedes Hemming, 1934: 193-200. Unnecessary replacement name for Papilio delius Esper, [1804].
Parnassius delius ab. anna Stichel, 1907. Type Locality: South Tyrol. Unavailable infrasubspecific name.
Parnassius delius blachieri Fruhstorfer, 1921. Type locality: Alpe Veglia im oberen Val Cairasca, dem westlichen Seitental des Val Antigorio, Piemont. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius phoebus f. casta Stichel, 1907. Type locality: Pontresina (Engadin, Schweiz). Unavailable infrasubspecific name.
Parnassius delius confederationis Fruhstorfer, 1921.Type locality: Switzerland, Maderanertal, Kanton Uri, Urschweiz [...] ca. 1300 m [...] am Kärstelenbach. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius phoebus crocedominensis Nardelli & Sala, 1986. Type locality: Passo Crocedomini m. 2000, Prealpi bresciane, Italia. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius delius expectatus Fruhstorfer, 1921. Type locality: Passeiertal, ca. 1200 m, Italy. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius phoebus gazeli Praviel, 1936. Type locality: France, la haute vallée du Boréon (région de Saint-Martin-Vésubie). Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius phoebus hansi Bryk, 1923. Replacement name for Parnassius delius hermiston Fruhstorfer, 1922. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius delius hermiston Fruhstorfer, 1922.Type locality: Groß Venediger, Dirnbachtal, Groß Glockner 2200 m. Junior primary homonym of Parnassius apollo hermiston Fruhstorfer, 1921.
Parnassius phoebus savoieensis Eisner, 1957. Type locality: France, Pralognan, Savoie. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius delius serenus Fruhstorfer, 1921. Type locality: Alpes du Piemont [...] Courmajeur, Val Ferret [...] Pralognan. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius delius tessinorum Fruhstorfer, 1921. Type locality: Tessiner Alpen der Verzasca-Gruppe. Cima di Cagnone aus 2000-2400 m [...] Cima Bianca, ca. 1800-2000 m; ... Oberes Val Lodrino, zwischen der Alpe Piavacra und Stuvello, ca. 1800 m. [...] zu beiden Seiten des Cagnonepasses und zwar am Nordwesthang der Cima die Cagnone am Laghetto d´Efra, ca. 1900 m im obersten Val Verzasca. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.
Parnassius phoebus vorbrodti Bryk & Eisner, 1935. Type locality: Lötschen-Tal [...] Gemmi-Paß [...] Kandersteg [...] Grubenwald. Subspecies or junior subjective synonym.

Taxonomic notes: P. phoebus sacerdos has been introduced by Stichel (1906) as replacement name for Papilio delius Esper, [1804], which is invalid as a junior primary homonym of Papilio delius Drury, 1782. Quite recently, the alpine populations have been raised to specific rank by e.g. Shepard & Manley (1998: 718) or Hanus & Theye (2010: 82). Papilio phoebus Fabricius, 1793 furthermore, is now interpreted as senior subjective synonym of Doritis ariadne (Lederer, 1853), whereas the species that has been known as Parnassius phoebus auct. for more than two centuries has to be called now Parnassius corybas Fischer von Waldheim, 1824 (Hanus & Theye 2010).

Small Apollo
Le Petit-Apollon
Hochalpen-Apollo

Habit:

P. sacerdos gazeli : without data P. sacerdos styriacus : Austria P. sacerdos styriacus : Austria : Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Sportgastein, 1650 m, 1978.08.20, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Global Butterfly Information System: MNHN, Paris (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   
P. sacerdos vorbrodti underside: without data underside: Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Sportgastein, 1650 m, 1978.08.20, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Global Butterfly Information System: Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   

Description of adults:
Examined: 1 , pictures of 1 , 2 , complements following Higgins & Riley, 1978. Wing expanse: 60-70 mm, 65-75 mm. Eyes blackish-brown; palpi with long, downwardly directed, yellowish-grey hair-like scales; antennae about 1/3 of forewing length, distinctly ringed black and white, distal bulb black; thorax black, upperside with whitish, hair-like scales; upperside of forewings white with slight yellowish tone, outer margin not completely covered with scales, grey in a broad belt; a submarginal, grey cross-fascia, morderately broad from costa in a bow outwards, not reaching inner margin and enclosing broad white lunulae with the outer grey marginal band; a big black, elongate spot each across middle of cell and at discus; two smaller, somewhat irregular black spots postdiscally near costa, the anterior only or both of them centered red; hindwing of the same ground colour, inner margin blackish in a broad band across 3/4 of its length and with long, white hair-like scales; near anal angle two small black spots, arranged in a line at right angle to inner margin; in females, outer margin broad grey, submarginal an indistinct undulate grey line, partly dissolved into single spots; a big red spot with black margin, centered white in females, proximad to middle of costal margin; a similar spot postdiscal between M1 and M2, enlarged in females by a satellite mostly reaching M3; underside of wings similar, but except for the spots devoid of scaling; red spots even bigger than on upperside, with larger white centers; along inner margin of hindwing four additional, more elongate red spots with black borders in costal, radial, medial and anal field; underside of thorax densely covered with yellow hair-like scales; abdomen black, scarcely covered with whitish hair-like scales at upperside, denser at underside.

Variability: Besides the differences between the sexes, the species varies due to the extension of grey to blackish irroration on the upperside, size and intensity of the red spots and degree of white centering. Individuals with a black bar connecting the two big red spots on the hindwing upperside have been called f. cardinalis Oberthür.

Distribution:

P. sacerdos inhabits the Alps in many colonies from the Alpes Maritimes in the south-west to the Styrian Alps in the east. The vertical distribution has been recorded from usually 1500 - 2600 m a.s.l., exceptionally also as low as 1100 m a.s.l. (Forster & Wohlfahrt 1976, Higgins & Riley 1978, Kurz & Kurz 2012).

Biology:

A typical biotope with source vegeation on silicate ground, where a preferred food plant of the larva, Saxifraga aizoides grows: Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubach valley, near Tauernmoossee, 2125 m, 2003.07.19 When nectaring, here on Centaurea pseudophrygia, the species may be found also in lower altitudes: Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubachtal, Enzingerboden, 1480 m, 2003.07.19 Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubachtal, Enzingerboden, 1480 m, 2003.07.19 Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubachtal, Enzingerboden, 1480 m, 2003.07.19
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubachtal, Enzingerboden, 1480 m, 2003.07.19 Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubachtal, Enzingerboden, 1480 m, 2003.07.19 Carinthia, Nockberge, Turracher Höhe, 2001.08.23 Carinthia, Nockberge, Turracher Höhe, 2001.08.23
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view

The species has been found on the wing from about 9:00 a.m. till 16:00 p.m. and inhabits preferably moist or wet places near brooklets or source vegetation, alpine poor meadows, but also cushion plant associations, dwarf shrub vegetation, tall herb vegetation of montane levels and moist alpine scarcely vegetated scree. The imagines are on the wing from mid June till mid September and habe been found nectaring e.g. on Centaurea pseudophrygia (Kurz & Kurz 2012).

Stages in development:

Description of early stages following Forster & Wohlfahr 1976, Tolman & Lewington 1998:

Egg. The egg is white, the micropyle pole being situated in a dark, compressed rosette. The eggs are laid on various substrates nearby the foodplant like moss, detritus or stones, seldom also directly on the foodplant.

Larva. The larva hibernates fully devolped within the chorion, eventually also after hatching. Fullfed, it is velvety black, with lemon yellow spots along the sides. Foodplants are mostly Saxifraga aizoides, as well as Sempervivum montanum, but larvae have also been found feeding on Rhodiola rosea.

Pupa. The stout pupa has blunt ends and is brown. It lies on the ground in a loose web, often under stones.

Anatomy:

     
genitalia:
a) lateral view
b) valve
c) tegumen and uncus, ventral view
     
Picture from: © Higgins 1975, modified
Detailed view
     

Genitalia (Higgins 1975). " Like P. apollo but smaller; uncus narrow, brachia more slender; valve shorter, tapering to rounded apex; harpe massive."

Diagnosis:

P. sacerdos gazeli : without data P. corybas altaicus: : Russia, Altai, near Ust-Kan, 2003.06.20, coll. Michael Kurz P. smintheus dakotaensis : without data P. apollo brittingeri, : Austria, Styria, Loser, 1400 m, 1977.08.07, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Global Butterfly Information System: MNHN, Paris (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Global Butterfly Information System: ZSM, Munich
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
P. sacerdos : Austria, Salzburg, Sportgastein, 1600 m, 1978.08.20, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz Parnassius corybas altaicus : Altai mountains P. smintheus rotgeri : without data P. mnemosyne mnemosyne : Austria, Salzburg, Thalgau, 600 m, 1976.07.01, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © galijotas
Detailed view
Picture from: Global Butterfly Information System: MNB, Berlin
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Within its distribution range in the Alps, the species may be mistaken only for Parnassius apollo Linné, 1758, but the latter has no red spots at all on the forewing upperside. Furthermore, its antennae are only indistinctly ringed light and dark. The allopatric taxa Parnassius corybas Fischer von Waldheim, 1824 (from the Ural mountains throughout Siberia to Alaska), and Parnassius behrii Edwards, 1870 (North America) are now regarded as distinct species and are distinghuished mainly by the structure of the micropyle of the eggs, Parnassius smintheus Doubleday, [1847] (North America), which shows a similar micropyle structure, by details of wing markings and body vestiture (Shepard & Manley 1998, Hanus & Teye 2010). The only other European Parnassius, i.e. Parnassius (Driopa) mnemosyne (Linné, 1758) has no red spots at all on the wings.

Genetics:

chromosome number (haploid): 30 (Higgins, 1975).

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Forster W. & Th. A. Wohlfahrt 1976. Die Schmetterlinge Mitteleuropas 2. Tagfalter. 2. Auflage, Franckh´sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart.
Hanus, J. & M.-L. Teye 2010. Parnassius phoebus (Fabricius, 1793), a misidentified species (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae). Nachrichten des entomologischen Vereins Apollo, neue Folge 31 (1/2): 71-84.
Higgins, L. 1975. The Classification of European Butterflies, Collins, London.
Higgins L. G. & N. D. Riley 1978. Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, übersetzt von W. Forster, 2. Auflage, Verlag Paul Parey, Hamburg und Berlin.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2012. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 07 March 2012].
Shepard, J. H., & T. R. Manley 1998. A species revision of the Parnassius phoebus complex in North America (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). — pp. 717–726 in: Emmel, T. C., Systematics of Western North American butterflies (Mariposa), XXVIII + 878 pp.
Stichel, H. 1906. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Lepidopteren-Gattung Parnassius Latr. - Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift Berlin, 51: 81–94.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2011.03.01
Kurz Michael: 2011.10.07
Kurz Michael: 2011.10.12
Kurz Michael: 2012.03.08
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.15
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.24
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.27
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.28
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2013.01.28
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.28

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